Creating goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated, focused, and progressing throughout the year. As we approach the close of the year, goal-setting is a hot topic, especially in business. But you can set goals for yourself any time of year, for any reason. To get started, determine the areas you want to set goals in.
1) Select Goal Types.
Personal – As the most common type of goals, these may focus on personal enrichment activities, health and fitness objectives, hobbies, spiritual enrichment, etc. Though the new year is a popular time to set these goals, creating short-to-mid-term , measurable personal goals may be more realistic and help you get the results you want.
Job Search – Looking for a job? The job search can be a long and daunting process, so create weekly and monthly goals to keep yourself on track.
Work – Want to really enjoy your work? Create goals for yourself so you can enjoy the feeling of continual success as you accomplish your daily tasks.
Career – Want to move up in your career or even switch fields? Career goals can be mid-to long- term and help you advance in your profession.
Networking – Whether in social media or in person, creating networking goals can help you expand your network and deepening relationships with important contacts.
Education – Want to pursue a degree, vocational training, or apprenticeship? Educational goals are critical because they can help you make important decisions on coursework, programs, conferences and even career choices.
2) Create SMART Goals.
Once you’ve selected the areas you want to create goals for, use the SMART goals formula to set goals that will help you progress. This formula is a time-tested way to create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
Specific – Make sure your goals are clear and well-defined. For example, instead of creating a health goal such as “work out more,” create a goal: “to exercise twice a week.”
Measurable – How will you know if you’re accomplishing your goals? Make them measurable from the get-go! The goal “ to exercise twice a week” is something you can measure, as long as you can count to two! Let’s try a more complex goal, like an educational process. Instead of “to obtain a college diploma,” which is very vague, “complete 20 hours of coursework towards my bachelor’s degree this year, is something you can check to ensure progress as time goes by.
Achievable – You don’t want to set your goals so high you can’t reach them. On the other hand, you don’t want to set them so low they don’t mean much. So, make sure you are taking into account personal, financial, and other factors. Make your goals something you can accomplish through diligent effort.
Relevant – This may seem like an odd component of a good goal, but especially when it comes to your work life, it’s important to have relevant goals. For example, if you want to become a manager, setting a goal to get a degree in philosophy might not be the best idea. So, make sure your goals are something relevant to you.
Time-based – Goals that have no deadline are little more than talk. That’s because without deadlines, you’ll find yourself procrastinating on your progress. Timelines are one of the most important parts of goal-setting, but it’s the thing most people leave out of the process. So, give your goals deadlines and stick to them!
3) Commit and Follow Through.
The final step in the goal-setting process is to write your goals down, share them with someone who can hold you accountable, and measure your progress. Also share your goal deadlines with a friend, colleague, family-member, or other trusted person. Have them follow up with you on your timeline to help keep you on track!
Are you setting goals for this month? Are you already planning goals for next year? Share your thoughts on goals in the comments section, and feel free to share a goal with us there, too!