Why set goals?
It’s a new year and most people want to see some change or improvement in their lives. Setting goals is an effective way to motivate and help you create these changes — such as improving your health, relationships, or productivity at work.
Having a goal is a good way to focus on the more important things. It allows creating a vision and developing effective strategies to achieve that goal.
In deciding what your goals are, start with the things you enjoy. Using your strengths is when you could be happiest, so you should also identify any goals associated with your strengths.
Make your goals achievable, realistic, and in balance with your life. Once you have decided, the SMART theory might be of help.
SMART (started in the 1980s) is an acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives. Below are the 5 criteria of SMART goals:
- Specific — your goals should include the 5 Ws — what, where, when, why, and who.
- Measurable — your goals should include a quantity — how many or how much.
- Achievable — a better result can come from setting a harder goal, as long as it’s achievable. Although it can be discouraging and could lead you to give up if the goals are too difficult.
- Realistic — your goals should be practical for you and your situation. Making goals public can enhance commitment and improve your chances of achieving it.
- Time-related — Set a timeframe and an endpoint. Deadlines can motivate your efforts and make you prioritise the task at hand.
Seeking regular feedback from others or tracking measurable items is also important, as it allows you to know if you are on the right track.
Breaking down goals into smaller steps can lead to a sense of achievement. It also prevents you from becoming overwhelmed by large goals.
If your long-term goal is to find a new job, smaller and more achievable steps can be taken, such as updating your CV, checking job ads online, or calling work contacts.
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