Ready to take the next step forward in your career? If so, you’ll need to set goals to help you get there. There’s an art to perfecting your goals, and luckily, we go over it all below.
Research shows that SMART goals can help you define your desires and focus your intentions in a measurable way (Bailey). SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed.
- Specific means that you need to state what your objective is clearly. Define what you want in an actionable way.
- Measurable means you need a way to measure your progress. This might mean counting the number of policies you sell every week.
- Achievable means your goal should be realistic. Don’t set the bar too high because you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.
- Relevant means your goal should make sense in context. Don’t worry about things that don’t affect the success of your plan.
- Timed means you need an endpoint for your goal. Set a deadline for your achievement.
Once you come up with a SMART goal, it’s time to create an action plan. This means you’ll need to think about the when, where, and how aspects of the goal.
First, make sure every action plan is short term. Even if your goal is more long term, it’s too hard to plan out every step in advance, especially if you don’t progress as fast as you anticipated.
Second, make sure you’re confident in your ability to carry out the plan. If you don’t think it will be possible, make some changes. This doesn’t mean you should lower your expectations, but you do need to think about what is relevant and achievable in the designated timeframe.
You don’t have to do this alone. In many cases, setting goals with your coworkers or friends can help you all improve. You’ll be able to hold each other accountable and provide motivation when things get tough.
At the end of the day, the biggest tip for setting a personal or professional goal? Believing in yourself! With your self-confidence and the rest of these tips, you’re sure to accomplish whatever you dream of.
Bailey, Ryan R. “Goal Setting and Action Planning for Health Behavior Change.” American Journal Of Lifestyle Medicine. Vol. 13,6 615-618. 13 Sep. 2017, doi:10.1177/1559827617729634