Setting goals is important for achieving success in your career. Knowing how to set goals can help you set challenging and rewarding goals to help you grow, develop, and progress in the workplace. In this article, we discuss why goal setting is important and give you tips on how to set goals.
Why setting goals is important
Setting goals can benefit you by:
- Encourage you with short term inspiration
- Gives you focus on your long term vision
- Better prepare you to anticipate setbacks and deal with them
- Empowering you to identify and eliminate your distractions
- Keeping you organized and moving forward
- Helps you measure your progress
- Builds your confidence by making you aware of your abilities
- Allows you to celebrate your achievements
At work, you can set goals to give you direction for completing assignments, meeting deadlines, and working towards a promotion.
Tips for setting goals
Here are some tips for setting impactful goals that you can achieve:
When setting goals, it’s important to give your time and attention to the things that support the accomplishments that you plan. This can be something as simple as spending less time browsing social media or engaging in chat at work so that you have more time to dedicate to your professional success.
Take your time
To challenge yourself effectively and produce long-term results or benefits, take some time to reflect on what you would like to achieve from your goal. Evaluate your current position and what it will take to get you where you want to be. Consider your previous successes and how you might apply those efforts for planning and future achievement.
Define your values
Your values are what are important to you in work and life and guide your priorities. List your top priorities and decide how you can complement those priorities with your goals. If you set goals based on your values, you will likely achieve them because they most likely matter to you.
Not every goal has to be big, but you can set goals that challenge you so that you keep learning and growing. Think about your recent accomplishments, whether big or small, and strive to achieve more than you did before.
Make your goals positive
The way you write down your goals can influence your mindset as you begin to conquer them. Instead of formulating your goal as a negative statement (ie “Don’t do this again…”) without a clear solution, try expressing your goal in a positive way (ie “Try to do this instead…”) with a definite answer to the problem.
Putting this into practice might look like this:
- Negative statement: “Don’t stress about the weekly report.”
- Positive statement: “Strive to relieve stress by taking deep breaths just before completing the weekly report.”
Find yourself a mentor
Find someone who achieved similar goals before you and get involved with him. Learn new ways to set and achieve goals by listening to how they achieved success. Ultimately, stay focused on what matters most to you, but learn from other trusted individuals as a guide.
Visualize the final result
Visualizing the final result can help you see that you can achieve your goals better. Try spending a few minutes once or twice a day imagining your goals and what achieving each one would look like. This helps rebuild in your mind exactly what you want. Once you have a clear vision of what you want, you can transfer that image in your mind to actionable results.
Download the app
You can download apps that help you plan, focus, stay motivated, build healthy habits, track results and complete your goals. Open the app store on your device and type “destination settings” or “destination tracker” in the search box to find various destination related apps.
Review your goals as often as possible
Block out some time each day, week or month to re-evaluate your goals. You may find that your priorities have shifted or that circumstances may be pointing you in another direction altogether. A new job opportunity, personal event, or relocation may require you to move forward in a different way or towards a different end result. Be flexible, willing and ready to change your path or revise your goals as needed.
SMART is a memorable acronym used for setting goals. Each letter is an important component of goal setting, including:
- Specific: This means clear goals for outcomes and actionable steps.
- Measurable: Having measurable goals means knowing what achieves each step and the overall goal. This can help you track your progress and see what steps you need to take to reach your goals.
- Attainable: Goals are meant to challenge you and are still likely to be achieved. Make sure you can reach your goals with the tools available to you and within the deadlines you set for yourself.
- Realistic: Your goals must be realistic in order for you to achieve them given your personal circumstances, specific skills and resources.
- Time sensitive: Give your goal a timeline or deadline so that you are encouraged to consistently take steps to complete the goal. If your goal takes time to reach, set smaller goals along the way to track your progress and celebrate small wins.
Find an accountability partner
Accountability means being responsible for the standards, goals, and deadlines you set for yourself. An accountability partner can help validate your goals and ability to achieve, keep you on task, improve your performance with tips and motivation, measure your progress and celebrate your success. This person should be someone who is interested in or investing in your continued growth and success, such as a colleague, friend, parent, mentor, or sibling.