Whether it is in your personal or professional life, one of the most challenging components of being productive has to do with goal setting. So many people will tell you to just “set goals and work towards them,” but it is not as simple as that. Goal setting is a rather complex process because you must not only think about what you want to achieve, but also how you’re going to do it and whether you will actually be able to work towards it every day.
How to Set Realistic Goals
One of the first and most important lessons about goal setting has to do with the type of goals you are setting. Above all else, personal and professional goals need to be realistic. These realistic goals should push you to work harder and should be difficult to achieve, but they shouldn’t be impossible. Don’t try to push yourself so hard that you are setting yourself up for failure.
In order to set realistic goals, take a look at things you have accomplished in the past, and then make your new goal based off of what you know you can do. If you hit $10,000 in sales last month, then set a goal for $11,000 this month instead of $20,000. When you set these goals, make sure that you give yourself small milestones that can help you track your progress along the way. Goals are far more likely to be realistic when they can be broken down into smaller and more manageable steps.
Tips for Setting and Achieving Goals
If you are ready to set and achieve goals, whether they are big or small, there are a few tips to keep in mind that can help you find the success you are looking for.
- Set specific goals and always answer the “who, what, where, when and why” of that goal.
- Make goals that are measurable, words like “better” or “more” should not be a part of your goal.
- Write down your goal and put it somewhere you can see it. Say it out loud every day.
- Look for someone that has achieved this goal before and use them as a model for your endeavor.
- Celebrate the small things. Whenever you reach a milestone along your journey, celebrate the accomplishment you have made to keep yourself motivated.
- Believe in yourself. Self-doubt is one of the biggest deterrents to achieving goals.
- Stay open minded. The path towards reaching your goals is not always clear or easy. You may have to think outside the box in order to get there.
When it comes to setting and achieving your goals you may find that are setbacks, and this is okay. Different people have different journeys towards reaching their goals, you need to keep working and keep finding new ways to motivate yourself, along with these tips, in order to find the right path for you.
Setting Employee Goals
If you are in a leadership position, you may find that at times, goal setting is about more than creating milestones for yourself. At times, you may have to start setting employee goals as well. Most of the same principles of goal setting apply, but there are a few key tips to keep in mind when it comes to setting employee goals.
- When setting goals for employees, make sure to tie them into the company mission. The company’s overall mission should always be a part of every employee goal, so they can not only see the short-term but the big picture as well.
- Give employees a time frame. Your idea of when an acceptable time to meet a goal is and what their definition of an acceptable time is, may differ, so set a clear goal.
- Be specific on the goals. When it comes to setting group or collaborative goals, you need to be as specific as possible with all of the details so that everyone is on the same page.
- Review the progress. Track the progress that your employees are making towards their goals and have review sessions to go over how that progress is going. This helps keep people on track and motivated to work harder.
Whether you are setting short-term goals for the day, long-term goals for your future, or goals for your employees, keep these goal setting tips in mind when you create plans for your future and you will be better equipped to not only set smarter goals but to achieve these goals as well.