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How to Set Realistic Goals at Work

How to Set Realistic Goals at Work

No matter your industry or job position, you will always want to improve and become better. For example, you may have your sights set on a job promotion, a certain sales revenue, or even inventing a new product. While it is important to have goals, some of your career goals may be a little out of reach. These may be good goals, but they aren’t realistic, at least in the present. When goal-setting, here are a few things you can do to help you set realistic goals at work. 

Be S.M.A.R.T.

SMART goal setting is one of the most effective and powerful ways you can set goals for your career. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. As you set SMART goals, you should make sure they follow these criteria. 

For example, let’s say you want to improve and build your network. First, you will want to identify what building your network means to you and find ways that you can measure your goal. This could be by your number of followers, the type of contacts you make, the growth of your social media channels, etc. Then, ask yourself the following questions:

What will you do to attain the end result? 

Will you attend conferences? 

Will you focus your efforts online? 

Finally, you should make a list of why you want to accomplish this goal. How will it benefit you and when do you hope to reach your goal? 

Talk to Management 

To help you set realistic goals in the workplace, talk to your boss and other leaders in the company. Discuss your goals and what you hope to accomplish now and in the future. When your management is aware of your goals, they may provide you with additional opportunities to help you achieve them. Your performance reviews or one-on-one meetings are an excellent time for these discussions. 

Focus on Your Future

It is easy to become caught up with your immediate to-do list. However, your goals should extend far beyond what you need to do today, tomorrow, or even next week. Rather, focus on goals and opportunities that enhance your future. As you consider your career goals, think about opportunities and resources that will help you reach these milestones. For example, do you want a promotion? Maybe consider taking a night class in leadership or develop a certain skill. Goal setting should help you become your best self. 

Create a Step-by-Step Plan

Every goal should have a plan. You should determine individual steps that will help you to achieve your goals. If you cannot come up with each step, your goal may be too vague or unrealistic. Write out each step and focus on that specific stage. Once you have completed a step, cross it off. By viewing your progress, it will give you the motivation to keep going.  

Setting realistic goals is the key to achieving success in your career. No matter what goal you set, write it down and review it often. This will help you to adjust your plans and find the motivation you need to push forward and achieve your goals.