Every job is a learning experience, so if you want to get the most from it, you need to challenge yourself with an ambitious set of objectives. Of course, just any type of goals won’t cut it. The most successful professionals know the only way to ensure you’re performing your best and improving your skills on the job is to set S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound — goals.
More so than the average goal, those of a S.M.A.R.T. nature get serious results. Find out why all your objectives need to meet S.M.A.R.T. criteria.
5 Reasons S.M.A.R.T. Goals Get Results
There’s Zero Ambiguity
It’s not uncommon to set a goal and promptly forget exactly what you were hoping to achieve. Since S.M.A.R.T. goals are written in a very specific manner, there’s no room for uncertainty. Your target goal, plan of action and time limit are spelled out right in front of you, serving as a constant reminder of what you need to be doing to get ahead.
You’re Held Accountable
Vague goals make it difficult to know how far you’ve come and how much more work is needed to reach your goal. Those of the S.M.A.R.T. variety are very different because they’re measurable. Seeing exactly how much progress you’ve made creates a sense of accountability that makes progress happen.
They’re Not Intimidating
You want to achieve big things in your career, but you can’t do it all at once. S.M.A.R.T. goals work because they force you to break broad objectives down into more reasonable targets. It’s much easier to tackle a smaller goal than one of larger than life proportions, so taking it on a step-by-step basis really works.
You Can See the Difference
It’s hard to get excited about a goal that could have a positive impact on your career one day, but has no bearing right now. S.M.A.R.T. goals cater to this sentiment by focusing on targets relevant to your job today. You get to start enjoying the outcome of your hard work right now, instead of having to wait months or years to reap the benefits.
The Finish Line is in Sight
The time-bound nature of S.M.A.R.T. goals pushes you to start work immediately. Since you have a concrete deadline for completion, you can’t procrastinate making progress toward your target. As an ambitious person, you don’t want to fall short of your objective, so being tied to a specific deadline serves as a major motivator.
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