Make your work goals align with your personal values

Holly Davis is a digital project manager at White October, an award-winning digital agency. She is also a certified scrum master. Holly is also co-founder of DO PM. Holly blogs on Medium in her spare time. You can follow her on Twitter @ProjectDavis
Are you stuck in a rut or a routine? Do you get cold sweaty when your manager asks what your 5-year plan will be? Do you feel ambitious, but lack direction?
If you’re anything like I was, setting work goals can be difficult. Looking back, I realize that my work objectives were not always aligned to my personal goals. However, they were written with an eye on pleasing my employer.
This area was explored by me earlier this year. I discovered different ways to set goals.
My manager recommended Scaling up by Verne Hartnish to me. Verne discusses the importance of having an individual plan.
His personal plan template of just one page will help you identify your priorities in five key areas. These are faith, family, friends and fitness. Verne’s human approach to setting business goals was very appealing to me. He helped me realize that meaningful work, or what you do for your living, can’t be considered in isolation from what motivates and drives you as an individual.
The Harvard Business Review conducted a study last year that found that people perform better when they have four essential needs met.
Renewal (physical).
Value (emotional).
Concentrate (mental)
Purpose (spiritual).
My career goals and personal values were always something I thought was separate. But this study shows that true motivation, purpose, and happiness can only be achieved when our values and goals are closely connected.
How can you’scale-up’ your personal plan? I have to admit that I struggled with this. I felt like I needed something simpler, so I followed these five steps.
Identify past successes – what have you achieved?
Identify your core values – What do you believe?
Identify your contributions – where do you invest your time?
Identify your goals and where you want to go
Write your mission statement and put it on paper
Sometimes it can be difficult to identify your core values and achievements. You might consider asking a friend or partner for help.
This stage was when I started to think about my priorities and set goals largely based upon my current ‘contributions.
I divided my goals into three categories: short term (3 months), medium term (within one year), and long-term (3 to 5 years).
These were the foundation of my personal manifesto. It is only six sentences long, and I use it whenever I have to make a decision about my personal or professional life. It has helped me to create meaningful objectives and make decisions that align with my values.
I hope this post will help you answer your manager’s next question about your five-year plan.
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After you have established your high-level goals, you might find it helpful to follow these steps to help you create more SMART and actionable steps to help achieve them.
I recommend Tom Rath’s Strengths Finder 2.0 book and the online questionnaire. This personality test will reveal a lot about you and help you to develop your personal development plan.
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