Setting goals can help you have a vision for the future and take steps towards making that vision a reality. Through goal setting, you become more focused and have a greater sense of direction for where to place your efforts and energy.
Goal setting is a task that anyone can do, but you should only be setting goals with intention and purpose. It’s okay to set a broader long-term goal; but, ensuring you’re also setting short-term S.M.A.R.T. goals is the best way to set yourself up for success. This means setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals. For example, if your long-term goal is to get a job in I.T., set S.M.A.R.T. short-term goals to help you set a more focused path to reaching your long-term goal.
To set a specific goal, instead of saying “Find a job in I.T.,” say “Apply to at least seven jobs and make ten new connections on LinkedIn daily.” Not only does this give you a more focused and action-oriented goal to pursue, but it also allows you to measure progress and outcomes. With a specific goal, you can measure your daily application and connection progress against your original goal of seven applications and ten connections. You can assess this progress and use this to motivate you to stay on task and improve performance as needed.
When identifying specific and measurable goals, you also want to be sure they are attainable and relevant. Goals should provide a challenge and push you outside of your comfort zone; but, take time to consider if they are feasible to attain. In the example provided above, trying to apply to 100 jobs a day instead of seven would be overreaching and most likely result in a lack of time to reach the goal and discouragement in measuring progress. You should so have your goals evaluated for relevancy. Consider how achieving the small-term goal will help you get closer to your long-term goal of finding a job. If there’s no obvious connection, you should aim to determine a more relevant and helpful short-term goal.
Finally, assigning a timeframe to achieve your goal will further motivate you and reduce procrastination in working towards that goal. Without a given timeframe, you may lose the sense of urgency and the importance of completing your identified goal.
Use these how-to steps of goal setting to help you along the path to success and achievements you can (and deserve to) attain.
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