A friend of mine often tells me about her office coworkers. She really appears to work harder than everyone around her, but often has little to show for it. For as much energy as she pours into work, she is often just spinning her wheels. The truth is, she is actually a hard worker with a tremendous amount of energy – a “go-getter” in the truest sense of the word!

It sure sounds like an admirable title, to be considered a go-getter, and most employers, while hiring for diversity, experience and education are also looking for go-getters. These people are determined and ambitious and will work hard for the success of the company. But while go-getting is a great trait, it really needs to be taken a step further. Go-getters need clear direction and vision. They need definite! I am pretty sure this is the issue with my friend. She works hard, helps literally everyone, but it does not seem to be getting her where she wants to go. So, my questions for her were simple….

Do you have a specific goal you are heading after? Or just using your energy to tackle what the day brings you? So, I ask you the same questions. Think about it! And once you have your answers, it’s time to channel all of your productive energy into something specific.

Let’s transition from a go-getter to a goal-getter!

Determine your priorities. What is your long-term goal? What in your life is currently essential to reaching those goals and what is merely distracting you from your focus? Stop putting your energy into unnecessary responsibilities that increase your stress (this also means learning to delegate!). Decide what your priorities are, and aren’t, and make necessary adjustments.

Make lists of goals. Daily, weekly and yearly goals will keep you on track. Make sure your focus stays directed at what you ultimately want to accomplish instead of fruitlessly chasing after something that is only a momentary distraction. Keep your lists where you can see them every day so you don’t lose focus!

Small goals are key! Once you have your big goals set, break those down to create manageable goals. Don’t forget that achieving small, well-planned goals is the stepping stone to reaching the big end game. Plans you can measure on a daily basis encourage productivity and motivation (just like that checklist you keep on a post-it stuck to your monitor!). Sometimes the small goals are the most important!

Stressed? Do you find yourself constantly worrying about your success and then working harder to chase that uneasiness away? Where is your anxiety coming from? Take a step back and evaluate what is causing you the most stress. Stress can contribute to a very frustrating cycle of futility. Determine how to make changes in order to be a more productive goal-getter.

Stay the course. Don’t give up on your goals! When you hit a roadblock, resolve to persevere. Often, go-getters can easily give up if it seems like something isn’t working. They want to avoid being unproductive. But being in the habit of jumping ship too soon will constantly interfere with your potential success. Curb your impulsivity to quit at the false hint of failure. Perseverance is the sign of a goal-getter.

Have confidence in your goals and confidence in yourself! Reach for goals that energize you and motivate you. The difference between being a go-getter and a goal-getter involves clarity, organization and perseverance. Your focused energy and excitement will set you on track to be a successful goal-getter!