Most people have goals they want to achieve, both personal and professional. Goals provide direction and motivation. They are important. But to be truly effective, goals need to be carefully crafted. There are ways of creating goals that can make them more useful and powerful.
Here are a few tips on making goals that are solid.
- Make them specific and precise.
Vague, ambiguous goals really are no help to you at all. For example, having a goal of moving ahead in your career doesn’t really offer much in the way of direction. How would you even know when you reached it? A much more specific, and therefore better goal would be getting promoted to a manager position within five years.
Also, you need to be careful about the number of goals you set. If you have too many, your efforts will be scattered and diluted, and you may have more trouble achieving your objectives. If you have just one major goal, you can devote all of your energies to that.
You may also need to tweak your goals. If you discover that your goal is simply too difficult to achieve in the time frame you set, you may need to rework the time element or adjust your goal.
- Set benchmark goals.
For big goals, you should set smaller benchmark ones along the way toward your final objective. For example, if your major goal is getting promoted to manager in five years, a benchmark goal might be finishing certain types of training within a year.
- Make a plan.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. You need to come up with a step-by-step blueprint for how you are going to reach your goal – the actions you will take to get you there.
- Keep a record.
You need to record your progress so you will know how you are doing and if you are where you should be.
- Examine obstacles to your goal.
What are the things that might prevent you from achieving your goal? A lack of time, a lack of training, a lack of money? Sort your obstacles into categories based on whether you can control them or not, and then focus on the ones you can control.
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