It’s official — 2020 has arrived, and you’re planning big things for your career. By the end of December, you want to make some serious strides in your professional life, but you’re already concerned your good intentions might not be enough to keep you on track.
No doubt, you’ve set career goals at the beginning of a new year before, and haven’t exactly met them. You probably didn’t realize this then, but goals are made to be broken unless they’re SMART. Here’s how to create objectives using this approach.
Make Your Career Goals SMART
Vague goals just don’t cut it. Leaving room for interpretation sets you up for failure from the start. Therefore, you need to be as specific as possible with your objectives. For example, if you’re an administrative assistant, instead of saying you want to be more valuable to your boss in 2020, get specific by challenging yourself to learn to type faster.
Seeing the progress you’ve made toward your goals is motivating, but it’s hard to achieve this without metrics. Assigning numerical values to your goals makes it easy to monitor your progress. For example, saying you want to increase sales is nice, but noting that you want to increase sales by 20% allows you to ensure you’re where you should be.
Dreaming big is great, but your goals won’t get you far if they’re unrealistic. Make sure it’s possible to achieve the goals you set because it doesn’t make sense to set yourself up to fall short. For example, setting a goal to enroll in a prestigious graduate program is great, but if you don’t have the financing to afford it, success is out of your control.
Some goals are more important than others — at least right now. Make sure your goals align with one another, so you’re able to move forward. The last thing you want is to achieve several goals that don’t support one another, leaving you in the same place you started. This might mean you need to put some objectives on hold for a while, but the resulting success you’ll achieve will make it worthwhile.
Your everyday life is busy. Even with the best of intentions to complete your goals, it’s easy for them to get pushed aside if you don’t set a deadline. Deadlines create a sense of urgency needed to help you stay focused. It’s okay if you have to move target end dates around a bit, as long as you’re continuing to move forward.
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