How to achieve your mining career goals in 2019


What makes a good goal? And how do you achieve your goals in both your mining career and your personal life?

As we head towards the end of another year, it will soon be time for lots of articles (like this one) appearing online, in papers and in magazines, about New Year’s resolutions. Soon we’ll be bombarded by headlines like “how to achieve your 2019 goals in four weeks” and “make your New Year’s resolutions on January 1”.

So, what makes a good goal?

A good goal is SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed upon
  • Realistic
  • Time-based.

It’s likely a lot of us have made and achieved SMART goals throughout our mining careers but have you used them in your personal life?

Using SMART goal setting is great in your personal life. The incentive might be different, but the formula works really well. Your goal just needs to be something that’s relevant to you and something you want to do. This sounds so logical, but how many times do you hear someone say “this just isn’t me” when they are doing something in their free time?

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Visualise the change you want to see

Have an image in your head of the change you want to see in your life. Imagine yourself in that new role, or living somewhere else, or being on holiday. It can make it easier to set and achieve that goal.

Your goal just needs to be relevant to your situation and have a meaningful outcome.

Interrogating your goals will help you understand them and achieve them. Ask yourself “why” you want this goal for yourself. Doing this will enable you to create a “motivation statement”.

For example, wanting to retire early is a significant and long-term goal. Asking yourself “why” you want to retire early will give you a clear motivation for achieving that goal.

Then you have to break the bigger goal down into bite-sized goals because what you do each year, each month, and each day will all contribute towards achieving that long-term goal. Each smaller goal will have a “why” statement of its own. For example, you might give up a shop-bought cup of coffee a day. Why? To save $1000 a year. Why? So you have more funds in the bank to retire early.

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10 great ideas for personal goals

You can set personal goals in any and all areas of your life, including:

  • Financial
  • Health
  • Family
  • Education
  • Skills improvement
  • Volunteering
  • Career
  • Self-improvement
  • Retirement
  • Lifestyle. 

The key to achieving your goals

Writing down your goals as positive statements, and in detail, ensures you remember why you want to achieve them. Break down your goals into smaller tasks, and tasks into small steps that will allow you to achieve them in your desired time. Writing down your goals also allows you to keep track of your achievements, no matter how large or small.

Acknowledge each milestone towards achieving your goal. An acknowledgement can be a simple self-congratulation. It is a great opportunity to review how far you have come.

Take definitive steps that will keep you on track to achieving your wider goal. For example, a common goal is saving up for a big holiday. Paying for your flights first is a great way to stay on target.

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How to achieve your goals in mining

Sometimes life gets in the way, particularly in an industry like mining, with long hours, shift work and rosters. Prioritise your time. If you work long hours, do FIFO, or are a shift worker, there may be times when your R&R is so busy you don’t have the time to work on your goals.

That’s OK, as life is for living. From time to time, you’ll find yourself off track. Just remember each of us is unique and each of us has different priorities and motivations. Keep the ‘big picture’ in mind and refocus when time allows.

A mix of personal and career goals and short-, medium- and long-term goals provides balance and maintains interest and incentive to stay on course. And sometimes you may need some help in determining your career goals. If you are interested in changing your career path in 2019, contact us about our career guidance services.