Last week we discussed the common tradition of setting goals and resolutions at the start of the new year. In the workplace, establishing regular objectives is a necessary part of accomplishing all we have to do (both in the short and long-term), but there are ways to effectively set those goals to ensure you are held accountable and stay on track to reach those end goals.

Simply setting a goal isn’t always the best way to achieve that end result. You have to create a road map of sorts, detailing how you are going to get from point A to point B. This can be done through setting additional objectives (consider these mini or sub goals) and key results (what you’re specifically going to do to make sure those objectives happen) needed to accomplish your goal.

For example, say your overall goal is to have a more organized office at work. How are you going to get there? What steps do you need to take to ensure that this goal is achieved in the most efficient way possible? To illustrate this method of goal setting more clearly:

Goal: To have a more organized office at work.

Objective: Declutter and purge excess “stuff” out of and on top of the desk.

Key Results: Set aside an afternoon once a month/every other month to clean out desk drawers of excess accumulation, clean and dust surface areas, and remove anything not used on a daily basis from the desktop (e.g., file, store, trash, or recycle).

Objective: Eliminate piles of excess paperwork.

Key Results: Take 30 minutes a week (or more depending on the amount of paperwork accumulated) to scan and shred paperwork that can be electronically stored and archived. File paperwork that requires hard copies to be saved.

By establishing these steps to accomplish your overall goal, you are more clearly defining what you need to do which keeps all your ducks in a row and makes it easier to get to the finish line. Consider implementing this new take on the goal setting process into your own routines, or as part of the performance review process for your employees.