All of us who have worked in professional environments have faced this word very often. Goal setting and measuring has become a very important part of corporate work cultures. Infact, it has been termed and described as one of the basic reason of enhancing productivity in organizations. So, what is so special about it?
Goal setting is a not a new management funda or anything which has been unknown. We all have been doing it for ourselves everyday in our lives or at some point in our life. We all set our sights on something important in our life – it could be any particular object that we want to buy, a latest car, a play station, a house, a laptop . So, getting that thing is our goal and how we go about getting it is our action plan. The only difference here is that we do not actually acknowledge it as a goal and end up not achieving it.
This is where the process of verbalizing and writing down your goals can help. Writing down your goals is important. You are able to clearly define what you want. Secondly, it will make it simpler to review and follow the goal.
The written word is the difference between a real goal and a dream. But there are some things which need to be kept in mind when writing your goals:
1. Set a goal which is really important to you and not which others tell you are good for you. – usually we follow what others (parents, friends, peers) tell us to be good. And this is why most of us fail to reach our goals. The reason is that we are not at all passionate about such goals because they are not our goals at all.
2. Make SMART Goals – This is the most commonly used acronym used in connection with goal setting in business environments. But the fact is that it makes sense in personal sphere as well. Let us look at them one by one.
a. Specific – Each and every goal you set should be specific. A general statement such as “I want to be successful” is not a goal.
b. Measurable – Though this comes straight from business environment, it is important for any goal to be measurable; otherwise you will not be able to identify its success or failure properly.
c. Achievable – Do not set a goal which is impossible to attain. You will never even try to achieve it because you know you cannot do it.
d. Relevant – This is important because goals which are against your core values or wishes are irrelevant. This attribute also makes sense when we talk about having smaller goals which take us to the ultimate goal.
e. Time-based – The goals should be time bound. You cannot set a goal and hope you will achieve it one day. There has to be a specific time period in which you must attain it otherwise it may lose its significance.
3. Make them prominent – display these goals at all possible places within your home and office so that you can see them easily. They should serve you as constant reminders of what you are supposed to do in your life.
4. Review – Last, review your goals very often. Check out the progress you are making. Set smaller sub goals to reach your final goal. Not only these sub goals motivate you further on achievement, they also let you monitor the progress you have made till that point.
Another important aspect here is to be Flexible. Sometimes we seem to hit a rock barrier and it seems like we cannot go any further. In such cases, be open to modify your goals to suit the current scenario. Or it may also happen that the situation changes dramatically and the goals you set are no longer as relevant as they were then. Again, be flexible enough to revise them rather than leave them altogether.
But this flexibility should not be used to cover up the deficiency or under-achievement of goals.
Goal setting is the foundation for personal and workplace success. But it is not a simple writing down of some ideas on a piece of paper. Goal setting is a roadmap to your success. Therefore, put in some effort to set your goals and achieve what you want in life.