Most companies take late winter months to analyze the past year and the companies’ successes and failures. And most people will do the New Year’s resolution approach to changing their lives.
For companies, the next step will be an attempt to set goals for the New Year. The process is either a top down approach or a bottom up approach. A board will set large goals, then the executive, then the management team, the departments, and finally the individual worker. Or the reverse for the bottom up process.
Goal setting is an important process for any company and any person. Over the next few weeks, we will discuss goal setting from a personal / professional career point of view.
When setting Goals, a person needs to take a S.M.A.R.T approach:
SPECIFIC – The goals you set must specific. They must be well defined and clear. The goals should provide you with a clear direction of where you want to end up. “I want to earn a promotion” is a great goal, but it is not very specific. A better goal is “I want to be the Team Lead of my department or manager of my team.”
MEASURABLE – The goals must be measurable. Your goals need to include amounts and dates so you measure your level of success. If you goal is to increase sales, how will you know if you reached the goal. A measurable goal is “Increase sales by 10% by December 2015 from December 2014 levels.” Now you know how much you need to increase sales and by when.
ATTAINABLE – The goals you set need to be realistic and attainable. They should encourage realistic growth. Goals that are out of reach will not encourage any success, and in many cases, will cause a setback. On the flip side, goals easily reached also create lack lustre performance. You want your goals to push you to success. Goals that are attainable yet challenging provide the greatest sense of personal satisfaction.
RELEVANT – Your goals must be relevant to the career and life you want. The purpose of goal setting is to provide you the focus.
TIME BOUND – Goals must have a deadline. When working with a deadline, you provide that sense of urgency to remain focused. If your goals don’t have deadlines, how will you know when to celebrate your successes?
The next important step is to write down your goals. Then place the goals where you will see them and will be reminded to remain focused.