Overview: Goal Setting
When we talk about goals we are simply talking about something we are trying to achieve. So when we are goal setting, we are actively and consciously taking time to think about what it is we want to accomplish.
We know that goal setting can affect our performance in a positive way for several reasons. It provides us with clearer direction towards where we want to head, it makes us more focused on the things we need to do to achieve our goals and, because it helps us visualise the thing we want to achieve, it can be energising too.
Think about what you want to achieve, personally and professionally. If you are looking to set professional goals or feel you need to revisit them, speak to your line manager who will work with you to define them.
Consider if you are setting yourself relevant goals based on what you want to achieve. Bear in mind that setting yourself more difficult goals will have a positive effect on your performance, so don’t go for the easy ones which keep you in your comfort zone. Are your goals really pushing you? Are they sufficiently inspiring and challenging?
Defining your goals in a clear and specific way has been shown to have a positive effect on performance. So try writing your goals up in the SMART format – Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic and Timely. Use the SMART goal template to break your goal down into a SMART goal, providing you with a clear pathway to reaching your goals.
Discuss the result with your line manager, or, if you are thinking more about life goals, try sharing it with family and friends to get their support.
SMART Goals Template
When you’re setting a goal, you can increase your chance of achieving it if you break it down into a SMART format. SMART goal setting gives a simple framework for you to define exactly what you want to achieve, how you will achieve it and by when. SMART stands for:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time Bound
Complete the below SMART goal questions for any life goal.
GOAL: Define your goal.
Is it Specific? Have you made your goal precise enough? Ask yourself who, what, where and how.
Is it Measurable? How will you know when you have achieved it?
Is It Attainable? What will you need to ensure this goal is completed? Consider the barriers that may get in the way and what you can do to get past them.
Is it Relevant? Is the goal meaningful and important to you? Ask yourself why you want to reach this goal.
Is it Time-bound? When do you want to achieve this by? Put a deadline on it and set some interim goals so you know you are making progress.