It’s that time of year again: the time to sit down and ponder about the past year and think of the things you want to improve upon.
New Year's Resolutions are typically goals that focus on self-improvement in either lifestyle, habits or furthering success. Goals can focus on both personal and professional growth.
While setting New Year's goals are easy, many people often struggle to commit to them for longer than a few weeks into the new year.
Our goal is to help you set your goals for the new year and provide advice on how to stick to them within your utility manager role.
The first step to setting goals is to pinpoint the area you want to focus on changing or improving upon. After you determine your focus, try writing your goals so you have a visual representation of what you are working towards.
Saying something is a goal does not simply make it a good goal. Good goals follow a certain set of criteria that make them S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T goals are statements that demonstrate important results you are working towards accomplishing. They are designed to provide clarity and mutual understanding of the expectations surrounding your goal-setting process.
S.M.A.R.T stands for
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Relevant
T -Time Sensitive
Specific goals focus on the six questions (who, where, when, what, why, which) to help ensure a goal has focus. They can help provide much-needed context that may be needed to determine if a goal will meet the other criteria of a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
A goal is measurable when it has either indirect or direct ways to monitor progress. This can be through milestones or accomplishing specific, smaller tasks. Measures can be quantitative, qualitative, or both, as long as they make sense with the main goal.
One thing to determine with measurable goals is whether the goal is a short-term or long-term goal. Long-term goals will require more analysis of progress, but when progress is continually made, the goal is more likely to be met.
A goal is achievable when steps can be identified to meet that goal. If those steps cannot be met or you do not have the proper resources to achieve them, the goal may need to be reevaluated. Achievable goals should be set, realistic goals that you could foreseeably accomplish in a set amount of time.
The best way to achieve goals is to evaluate them through an unbiased lens. This can be either through data collection or self-reflection that is monitored at consistent intervals.
A relevant goal is a goal that directly relates to the idea you are trying to focus on improving. If you want to improve sales numbers and see a goal to accomplish that is to fly to the moon, then the goal is not relevant to the mission of improving sales.
Time-sensitive goals provide a timeline for when to accomplish a goal. The progress that is made within that time frame will allow you to ultimately accomplish that goal by the deadline that is set for the goal.
Keep Track of Your Goal Progress
To ensure that your goal is ultimately met, progress needs to be monitored and small, gradual steps that are taken to accomplish the goal should be recorded.
If your goal is one that can be measured quantitatively, keep track of data and analyze it regularly. It is important to make sure you have an accurate record of your progress so that, if necessary, you can make adjustments to your goal plan to make sure it remains attainable.
If your goal leans towards a qualitative measure, you still need to manage progress, but it may look different than analyzing data. This may be reflective thinking on your part or seeking outside opinions from employees, other managers, or team members.
Work Out More
Many people set a broad goal to lose weight, and then quickly fall off track after the new year ramps up.
However, you should have a priority for going to the gym. Focuses like losing weight, gaining muscle, or extending flexibility give an alignment for the goal to work towards.
If you think your role as a utility manager is getting in the way of going out to the gym, try exercising from home a few days a week.
Set times aside for you to either go to the gym or work out at home. Make sure there are times that you could foreseeably commit to long term so that eventually they become a habitual practice.
Create a Better Work/Life Balance
This one may be easier said than done. It is a great thing to care about your job and what projects are in front of you, however time away from work is necessary to have fresh ideas and avoid burnout.
Use a calendar to schedule time for large projects, small projects, and time for yourself. Analyze what parts of the project can be divided up amongst team members so no one person is doing the work.
If something important happens outside of work, do not be afraid to prioritize family or yourself. Don’t come to work sick because a project needs to be done. Take that time to heal and get better so you can come back with clear eyes and can easily focus.
Professional goals help establish a baseline of improvement for both a business or an individual. If a project or business goal is agreed upon by all members of the team, then everyone feels like they have something to work towards.
This can be done in a multitude of ways. If you are looking to excel in project management, these ideas could spark inspiration for project goals.
Make checklists to make sure smaller tasks are done so that the larger project is not held back.
Ensure that any documents needed for the project are accessible to those that need them at any given time. Doing so will save future headaches of team members requesting access.
Have a proper line of communication that outlines the specifics of the projects. This is to avoid unclear objectives with the project that could be mistaken by others and cause confusion amongst the team.
Try to plan thoroughly, while also remaining flexible to any outside challenges that may arise during the project.
Stick to a budget, and if necessary, see where you can outsource to save money and additional resources. For larger projects, it may be necessary to outsource. Find experts who are willing to work within your budget but still get the job done effectively.
Make Stronger Bonds with Your Team Members
In the role of utility manager, you will have several interactions with your team members daily. It is important to keep a strong bond with your team because those people will ultimately be the ones to help you achieve your goals.
Evaluate the skill sets of each team member and assign them a particular task that fits within their skill set. However, it is also important to communicate with your team to see where they would feel most comfortable.
Get to know your team members as people, not just as workers. They will be more trusting and willing to work together when they feel supported by their management.
Set Yourself Up for a Great 2023 with Blackwood Resources!
If one of your goals is to save time and money, then we can help with our professional pole-hauling services! Turn to our experienced team for new utility pole hauling that you can count on. This way, you’ll also get more time back to reaching your other utility manager goals.
Contact us at Blackwood Resources today to see how we can help you achieve all your utility management goals for the new year.