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Setting 'SMART' Goals

One of the best ways to advance your career is to have a specific goal to work toward. Last week, we discussed learning a new skill, and that is an excellent example of setting a goal. Having a goal makes it easier to determine what you should be improving on and how much progress you have made. However, not every goal is equal, and there are things you should keep in mind to create effective goals to follow. One of the best methods for setting goals is to follow the SMART method.

Setting 'SMART' GoalsSMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

Specific

Specific goals make it much easier to determine what actions you should take and track your progress. For example, instead of the vague goal of 'getting healthy,' you could set the goal of 'lose ten pounds' or 'cut sugar out of your diet' or even just 'walk for 30min a day.'

Measurable

Making your goal measurable is also essential as it gives you a way of tracking your progress, helping you stay motivated. By measuring, you can even break down the goal into sections, creating milestones that help you reach your goal!

Attainable

Attainability is a crucial aspect of any goal, and it should be the first thing you consider, as it does not make much sense to work towards a goal that you cannot accomplish from the start.

Relevant

Of course, your goals should be relevant to you and what you value. Sure, you set the goal for yourself to learn how to juggle, but why would you if you do not have any interest in juggling or improving your hand-eye coordination? Likewise, if you seek to advance your career, you should set goals that are relevant to said career.

Time-based

Lastly, it helps significantly when your goals have a time limit, self-imposed or otherwise. Having a time limit helps to keep you motivated and encourages you to work more actively towards accomplishing your goals. It can be very easy to start slacking on your goals when there is no pressure to complete them. 

Everyone has goals

Everyone has things they want to do or accomplish, which means everyone has goals. Being able to recognize those goals helps you to begin finding ways to achieve them. If you are SMART about how you go about achieving your goals, you will find yourself completing more of them than otherwise.

Need help finding ways to help you reach your goal? Gaining great experience through things like volunteering or certifications might be just what you are looking for!

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Gaining Experience, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance