A career is so much more than a job. It is a path you plan to take for the long term, one that might see you working for different companies, on different schedules, and in different locations. For many people, it is also a huge part of their personal identities.

However, your career, no matter how fulfilling, does not define who you are as a person. There are so many things that make you unique and special, but it is easy to lose sight of them when pursuing career advancement. If this sounds familiar, now is a good time to take stock of your personal goals and evaluate how you can refocus on them. These tips can help as you embark on this journey.

Define Your Priorities

Knowing what your priorities are helps you decide where to focus your energy and attention. However, many people mistakenly skip this step. Without clarity, you may spend more time on trivial tasks and neglect those that are more meaningful to you.
Even if you have an idea of what this important to you, take the time to put your priorities in writing. Start by making a list of the things that matter most. Then, order it from most to least important. Keep the list where you can see it so that it serves as a reminder of why you do what you do.

Take Time Away From Work

It is easy to lose sight of your personal life and goals when you are focused on advancing your career. However, allowing that to happen is a mistake. Failing to maintain a healthy balance between your personal and work lives can create tension, frustration, and burnout. One way to combat this is to use your PTO to take time away from work.
Taking time away from work means just that. Unfortunately, it can be hard to do when you are just a call or click away. Taking a trip can help make you less accessible during vacation time. Check out some exciting cruises from Tampa to eliminate the temptation to take a call or email from your boss.

Establish Clear Personal and Career Goals

Establishing goals gives you something to work toward. It also helps you know when you’ve reached where you want to be. Unfortunately, if you are like many other people, you may have neglected to set both work and personal goals. This can lead to an imbalance between the two parts of your life, ultimately negatively affecting both. Additionally, reaching personal goals can give you added confidence and soft skills which help improve your work performance.
If you are new to goal setting, consider using the SMART goal method. Many people swear by it as a way to consistently get good results. Smart goals have a set of characteristics that make them effective. They are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Develop Strong Personal Relationships

Research continues to highlight the importance strong relationships have on health and general well-being. A strong social network reduces mortality risk, helps moderate the effects of stress, and leads to more overall satisfaction. These benefits extend to both physical and emotional health.
Because they are so important, it’s wise to invest time each week in your personal relationships. That could be meeting up with friends for coffee, scheduling a date night with your significant other or having a big family meal once a week. Whatever you do, remember that the important thing is to ensure you take time to stay connected to the people who matter most in your life.
It is possible to have a successful career without losing focus on your personal goals. Defining your priorities, learning how to set SMART goals, and taking time off for yourself are all effective strategies to ensure you maintain balance. Instead of taking away form your career, the time you invest in your personal life and close relationships provides you with tools to advance it.