Most of us know that trying to tackle too many goals at once is a bad idea. It’s tough to make meaningful progress on any of them, and you’re more likely to just give up. So take a step back to determine which goal deserves your focus right now. Make sure your goal is aligned with your company’s strategic vision. The most direct way to do this is to ask your boss for input: What do you think is the most important goal I can be working on this year? If you’re choosing between equally compelling goals, the next step is to put them in chronological order to determine their optimal sequence. Make a list of what you’ll need to have in place — skills, knowledge, connections, assets, etc. — in order to accomplish your longer-term goals. Be on the lookout for a “keystone goal,” that, if accomplished, makes everything else easier or more attainable. And commit to sticking with your goal for a predetermined amount of time. If you don’t see immediate progress, don’t be tempted to switch course. Give it at least six months. By then you’ll have a better sense of whether you’re on the right track.

This tip is adapted from “Don’t Bog Yourself Down with Too Many Goals,” by Dorie Clark

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