Leadership

5 Ways to Set SMART Goals and Achieve Them

how to set goals and achieve them

Goal setting is an essential skill for every professional.

Whether you are a seasoned executive or just starting in your career, setting goals can help you achieve success both personally and professionally.

By having clear and specific objectives, you can focus your efforts, stay motivated, and track your progress toward achieving your desired outcomes.

As you read through, you’ll explore the importance of goal setting for professionals, and practical tips on how to set achievable goals.

You’ll also learn how to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) that align with your personal and professional aspirations. Let’s begin with the benefits of goal setting.

Why Is Goal Setting Important?

Goal setting is beneficial in many ways, here are a few reasons why you might want to consider setting a goal towards increasing your productivity in your workplace or personal life.

1. It Fosters growth

Goal setting can foster professional growth as well as personal and by pushing you to stretch beyond your current capabilities and comfort zone.

When you set challenging and achievable goals, it propels you to push yourself to develop new skills, gain new experiences, and ultimately help to achieve new heights of success and fulfillment.

2. Provides clarity and focus

Goal setting provides you with clarity by helping you identify what you want to achieve, and what steps you need to take to get there.

This clarity helps you stay focused on your objectives, and makes it easier to prioritize tasks and allocate resources effectively.

Also, it tends to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as provide a sense of purpose and motivation.

3. Enhances accountability

Goals provide you with a clear measure of your success or failure, and this helps to build accountability and responsibility.

When you set clear and specific goals, you are more likely to take ownership of the process and outcome and be more accountable for your actions and results.

4. Enhances time management

Goal setting helps you prioritize your tasks and activities.

It also helps you identify what is most important and what can be put on hold for a time.

With this, there is better time management which eventually leads to an increase in your productivity and efficiency.

What’s the SMART Goal Framework?

The SMART goal is a framework used to set clear and achievable goals. 

The acronym “SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

By using the SMART goal framework, you increase your likelihood of success and provide yourself with a clear roadmap for achieving your desired goals.

S: Specific

To record great achievements both in your career and personal life you will need your goals to be specific. A specific goal is well-defined and articulated

It is usually drafted having a particular outcome or objective in mind. Specific goals often answer the questions of what, why, and how, leaving no ambiguity about what needs to be accomplished.

An example of a specific goal could be to increase sales for your company or develop a particular tech skill.

M: Measurable

Making your goals measurable is an important component of the SMART goal concept.

This is because it allows you to keep track of your progress and determine whether or not you’re making meaningful strides toward achieving your goal.

Measuring your progress regularly, also makes it easy for you to identify barriers or challenges that may be hindering your progress.

And by doing so you can make adjustments where necessary to stay on track.

An example of a measurable goal can be to increase sales of your company by 50% within 4 months.

A: Achievable

Achievable is another key component of the SMART goal concept, by setting achievable goals you’re setting a goal that is challenging, but not impossible to achieve. This means that your goal should be realistic and attainable given

While drafting your achievable goal you’ll need to break your goal into small milestones to avoid being overwhelmed by it in the long run.

You’ll also need to consider the resources available at your disposal, which includes your skills and knowledge base.

Your goal would also need to be flexible to accommodate unforeseen setbacks.

An example of an achievable goal will be to increase sales by 50% within the next quarter by implementing a targeted marketing campaign and optimizing the sales process.

R: Relevant

For your goal to be relevant, it must align with the big picture or objective for which your goal was drafted.

It’s also important to consider how your goal fits into your overall strategy and priorities, so it should be purposeful.

Since we’ve been using the sales example, a relevant goal will be to start up a social media campaign, take up a sales management course or expand the physical or geographical reach of your company’s product.

T: Time-Bound

Goals are realizable when there is a deadline or specific period assigned to achieving them. 

While you must have broken your goals into small milestones, it is important to set dates for achieving each milestone.

Setting time-bound goals help to increase your sense of urgency and diligence toward the goal.

While drafting your goal, you should also put into consideration the possible consequential outcome of not keeping to the timing.

An example of a time-bound goal will be to finish up a sales marketing course in 1 month and increase the company’s sales by 50% in 4 months.

How to Set SMART Goals and Achieve Them

The SMART framework asserts that all goals must be achievable. However, goals become achievable when you translate your obstacles into realizable ideas. Here are some ways to set goals and achieve them.

1. Make a List

Writing down all you need to achieve your goal makes the process realizable. List-making gives you an overview of what you intend to achieve in the long run. It makes your goal concise and approachable.

2. Employ the SMART goal concept

 The SMART goal concept contains key factors needed to achieve any set goal.

It helps to coordinate, align, track, and measure your progress toward your goal achievement.

With a SMART goal and due diligence, you can be 95% sure of success in your plan, leaving the 5% for future uncontrollable conditions.

3. Mobilize all the resources available

Before embarking on your set goal be sure to gather all the necessary resources needed to see to the complete actualization of the goal. These could be in the form of your abilities or skill, finances, human resource, technologies, or data.

Starting your goal and stopping at every phase to get resources can be overwhelming, and distracting at times. So, it is best to garner every available resource you can lay hold of before beginning any milestone.

4. Set a flexible goal

It is advisable to set your goals in such a manner that they can be adjusted at any point in time. This is because the professional field is dynamic in its workings. While certain skills may strive due to recent innovations, some may become obsolete.

Also, there are times when conditions goal the very opposite of what you planned. At times like that, sticking to your initial strategy may prove futile, while following the trend may be a better route, knowing that the endpoint is to see that your main objective is achieved.

Setting SMART Goals

Goal setting may seem tedious and stressful. However, people who have clear and detailed plans tend to succeed faster than those who work with assumptions.

Using the SMART goal framework, alongside the practical tips provided will make it much easier to achieve your set goals, be it in your professional field or personal life in addition to SMART.

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Over to You

Now that you’ve learned ways to set goals and achieve them both for your profession and personal life, what will your SMART goal be targeted at? Let us know in the comments section @netwerkmovement. Don’t forget to share this with friends and people who need it.

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About Faith Chioma Ojigbo

Faith is a writer for NetWerk® who is also a seasoned economist. She delights in helping women become the best version of themselves, in their chosen careers and field of study, as well as in other facets of life.  You can find her with family, reading, sharing her faith, or engaging in DIY home crafts when she isn't working.

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