Goal setting is quite possibly the single most important thing that you can do to make your life better. And you may be thinking, “I don’t really need to read this post because I have a pretty good idea about what my goals are. I’d like a better job. I’d like to lose those 10 pounds that I’ve been talking about for the last few years. I’d like to get more exercise.” But these aren’t really goals at all.
A goal needs to be something concrete, specific and actionable (set realistic goals that you can realistically achieve) by a set period of time. Preferably, the completion of one goal will naturally lead to setting a new goal. For instance, “I’d like a better job” is a completely open-ended statement. It begs certain questions to be answered: Do you want a better job with the same company? Would you like the same job at a different company? Or would you like to be doing a completely different job somewhere else? When you think about these things you can begin to think about a more specific goal: I want to be the Manager of the Communications department of my current employer. This should naturally lead to the goal of the next promotion.
This is a much better goal than “I’d like a better job” was. However, this goal is still missing an important piece of the puzzle. Having a time-line (or deadline) is absolutely critical (germane) to the successful completion of your goal. Now your goal will read like this: I want to be the Manager of the Communications department of my current employer by the end of the fiscal year.
This is a very good goal. You have identified the specific position that you are targeting and have given yourself a deadline on when you will achieve this goal. The only other improvements to you goal at this time would be to make the goal self-fulfilling. “I will be the Manager of the Communications department of my current employer be the end of this fiscal year.” These may seem like small semantic changes but by creating a specific, achievable goal with a time-line, you will believe it and you will achieve it.
Check back in tomorrow as we look at the next step towards achieving your goals.