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Setting Goals for the New Year

Whether you’re a seasoned employee or easing into a new career path, setting goals at work can help you stay organized, reach deadlines, and maintain productivity throughout the year. If you want to succeed, you need to set goals that motivate you and stick with them. Let’s explore what SMART goals are, and how you can use them to set yourself up for success.

What does SMART Stand For?

SMART is an acronym you can use to help guide your goal setting. It’s important to set goals that motivate you and document your progress. Make sure your goals can realistically be reached. There are many variations of what SMART may stand for, but according to Mind Tools each goal should be:

Specific Goals must be defined clearly, or you won’t be able to focus your efforts.

Imagine you are in an entry-level position and you’d like to become a manager. Your specific goal could be, “I want to gain the skills and experience necessary to become manager within my organization to build my career and lead a successful team.”

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Measurable Goals include exact amounts, dates, etc., so you can see if you are successfully reaching your goal.

Perhaps you measure your goal of acquiring the skills to become manager by fulfilling the necessary training within three years.

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Attainable Goals are realistic for you.

Do you have the time to complete the required training? Are the resources available to you? Based on your existing skills and experience, ask yourself if developing the skills required to become manager is realistic. If you’re entry level, setting a goal to become VP of Sales in the first year of employment may not be realistic.

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Setting Relevant Goals ensures your goal matters to you and could impact your life outside of work as well.

Is this worthwhile? Is it the right time? Does this match our needs? Am I the right person for this role? If you can answer YES to these questions than your goal is relevant. Setting a relevant goal to land that management position could help better streamline your career and improve your overall quality of life. Keeping personal and work goals aligned make them more attainable and relevant.

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Time-Bound Goals is self-explanatory.

Setting a goal with no specific time frame may hinder your ability to achieve that goal. Give yourself a doable deadline for your goals, that way you can measure your success while having had enough time working toward it.

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Like any type of goal, it only works if you persevere it. SMART is a great tool you can use to plan and achieve your goals. Apply the SMART model to your personal life goals too, not just work. Try adding calendar reminders, make a to-do list, or even at home place reminders on the coffee pot to give you that extra motivation. Best of luck setting and achieving your goals this year!

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