Setting Goals for Success

Have you ever talked about taking a trip, or joining Weight Watchers, or doing something you’ve always wanted to do…but just never gotten around to it? Setting goals for success is not something you necessarily learn in school. It’s been said that if you claim you’re going to do something, but then you never do it, you never truly intended to do it in the first place. Ouch! Our human nature tends to procrastinate and fail to plan. These choices end up actually becoming a plan to fail.

Setting Goals for Success Using SMART Goals

So what would you like to achieve? In both your career and personal life, learning to set goals is a great way to accomplish what you want. Do you want to change jobs, get a promotion, grow your business, learn a new skill, make a new friendship, conquer a fear? Try using the SMART system for setting goals; the acronym is effective and easy to remember, and makes your goals clear and easy to understand.

SPECIFIC: The goal must clearly state what is to be achieved, by whom, where and when it is to be achieved. Sometimes it may even state why that goal is important.

MEASURABLE: Ask yourself how many, how much, how often. Measuring your goal means taking into account the steps along the way as well as the end result of your actions. The steps you take are markers telling you that you’re gradually achieving what you set out to accomplish.

ATTAINABLE: Is the goal you desire actually something you can achieve? There’s no point in setting a goal that you don’t believe you can actually reach.

RELEVANT: Is this goal relevant to what you are trying to accomplish both now and in the future? Does it tie in with your values, hopes, and visions for your career or life path?

TIME-BOUND: Do you have a time frame for achieving this goal? If you leave a goal open-ended, there’s no urgency to actually accomplishing it.

Click here for a great worksheet from Chicago State University that will lead you through the SMART goal process, including thinking through potential obstacles and how you might overcome them.

Whatever you hope to achieve, you’ll be wise to write it out using the SMART goal framework. Setting goals for success is the quickest way to tackle the things you’ve been hoping to accomplish.

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