Setting goals part III: making the granular goals actionable (monthly)


Now that you’ve identified the benchmarks required to get to your big goal, it’s time to make a plan of attack for each one.  Sticking with the career version, lets worry about year 1 for now.  Here’s what that might look like:


  • Get a PhD, Find a top post-doc job
    • Get straight A’s in classes (1st year)
    • Find a top thesis lab (1st year)
      • Choosing where to rotate:
      • Where have previous grad students gone after graduation?
      • What do current student in the lab say about the lab?
      • What’s the vibe in the lab?
      • How well to grad students publish?
      • How interested are you in the research?
    • When rotating:
      • Become engaged in the projects/ask everyone to explain their project
      • Read all the key papers
      • Ask questions based on the papers
      • Be aggressive achieving the goals of the project?
    • Become a great teacher (1st year)

One of the best ways to go about putting these lists together is to find peers that have done really well at one or more of these tasks.  Talk to them and figure out how they did it.  By approaching it this way you have an opportunity to work smarter and not necessarily harder. This is a decent way to approach all of your goals....not just career. In the next post I’ll discuss how to figure out how to allocate your time.