Setting Smart Goals

Why goal setting?

Elbert Hubbard said it well when asked why some people fail in life. He said, “ Many people fail in life not because they lack the ability or intelligence or courage, but simply because they have never organised their energy around a goal.”

What is goal setting?

Goal setting starts with a definition and a clear identification of where you would like to go and then accompanying that with steps on how you are going to get there. Setting goals gives you direction and helps you to take control of the direction your life and career is taking. It also provides you wíth a benchmark to evaluate if you are succeeding or not. There are no guarantees that the goals you set in your career will be reached. However, you can increase the likelihood of your career goals being met by using SMART criteria when defining your goals.

How to Set Smart Goals

  • Specificity

Your goals must be clear and defined. They are there to show you the way. Setting generalized goals will prevent you from accomplishing what you want to achieve.

  • Measurable

Set a time frame for all your goals. Insert dates, months and even years. Timelines will help you see the smallest progress you are making towards your final destination. Keep a diary to help you record milestones and progress but also celebrate successes. How do you know you are almost close to getting that next opportunity or promotion if you don’t take time to look at how far you have come on a regular basis?

  • Achievable

Do not set goals you will have neither the capacity nor the ability to achieve. At the same time, take care to also not set up very easy goals that will require less or no hard work. This may prevent you from setting goals that would take your career to the next level. Setting somewhat ambitious goals enables you to grow by making you “stretch”. The key here is to identify a balance between easy and hard.

  • Realistic / Attainable

Can you really achieve your goals or is it just wishful thinking? Keep your goals aligned and focused on the direction you would like to take your life. When your goals are unfocused and not aligned with where you would like to go, you are doing nothing much but wasting your time.

  • Timed

Your goals should have a start and an end date. This allows you to reflect, strategize and organise your plans in such a way that you are always moving forward.

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