Smart Goals: How to Make Your Career Goal Achievable

Smart goals and Smarter objectives

Some people know what they need to do to get ready for promotions, so no need to set Smart goals to achieve that.  But others are not like that. They want to grow their careers but don’t know how to go about it. And many of them have a hard time setting smarter objectives to help them achieve their aspirations. 

What are SMARTER Goals or SMART Objectives

SMART Goals: The word SMART is an abbreviation for:
Specific – The goals should be crystal-clear and state precisely what they refer to.
Measurable – They should be stated in quantifiable terms
Attainable – Goal should be realistic
Relevant – The goal should relate to your career interests
Timely – A goal must have an end date

Smarter goals setting means your goals have to be:

Specific

If you aspire to become a manager, you want to lead people. So, you will want to take on much more responsibility than you have. Having vital information will help you to know what you need to do.

Find out what skills you need to become a manager. Compare your current skill set with that of a manager to identify the gaps. In other words, you are finding out the skills you do not have but are very critical to being a manager.

Instead of aiming for something broader, narrow down your focus. What four key critical skills you need to achieve to become a manager? And how are you going to get those skills?

Your smarter goal must be results-driven and result-centered. If you have an inferior goal, it will only lead to frustrations or failures. You need to specify clearly:

Questions need answers

▪ What precisely will you achieve?
▪ Why is this goal important?
▪ What will change by accomplishing this goal?
▪ Why do you need this goal?

Measurable

What type of measurement will you use to determine whether you are on track? You need to show how you are going to measure the progress towards the goal. For example, what skill or skills will you get in one month, two months, or three months?

Having the milestone along the way will show the progress you are making towards the goal. It also will highlight whether the actions you are taking will allow you to reach the goal.

Questions need answers

▪ How will you measure competence?
▪ What will be the milestone along the way?
▪ How regularly should you review or track the progress?

Attainable

You have to set a realistic goal. The goal that you can achieve and sustain. Being more ambitious to grow your career is great. But being over-ambitious can result in repeated failures and frustrations.

You do not want to set yourself up for disappointment. So, try to figure out how far you can stretch your abilities to become a manager.

Consider the limitations and how you can overcome them. If you have to learn a lot and timelines are short, you may become disillusioned. If deadlines are too long, you may end up getting relaxed and lose the enthusiasm for the goal. Being realistic and specific on what you need to achieve the goal is paramount.

You have to be confident that you will get the resources and the support throughout, from the start to the end. In other words, weigh up everything and determine whether it will achieve.

Questions need  answers

▪ How do the smarter objectives fit with your current workload?
▪ What might be the obstacles? How will you overcome them?
▪ What could go wrong? What contingency plans can you set up?
▪ How will you manage your time and resources to meet the smarter objectives?

Relevant

If you achieve the goal, what will it do for you? How is your goal going to help your team?
Think about any reservations you may have about this goal. If you think you are the best person among other people to get a promotion. If you feel very strongly about your decision, stick to your goal.

You can get help from your manager, friends, and colleagues to determine whether it is relevant. You can discuss possible roadblocks and to overcome them in advance. But you have to feel that the goal is essential and relevant to you, so so you decide not anyone else.

Questions need answers

▪ How committed are you to achieving this goal? Is it a good idea?
▪ How motivated and interested are you in this goal? How excited?
▪ What reservations do you have about the goal?

Time-bound

SMARTER goals and SMARTER objectives need a final deadline. Without a specified end date, you may lose focus. But set a realistic end date. If you aspire to become a manager, you will need to develop management skills and leadership skills.

You can only gain experience by being in the role. No one moves up a level for the first time with experience. How long will it take to develop the skills you want. You must estimate a realistic end date to achieve your smarter goal.

Questions need answers

▪ What should the deadline be?
▪ How committed are you to that deadline?
▪ What happens if there are unexpected challenges that got in the way?
▪ When will you review the period in case unexpected problems occur?

You don’t always need a smarter goal to gain promotion but, to grow your career to higher levels usually involves some goal setting, planning, and thinking about it.

Smarter goals need smart questions to create smarter objectives.

The Smarter Objectives will:

▪ Make your focus on the goal
▪ Give your drive and motivation
▪ Act as a measure of your performance
▪ Provide you with a structure for reviews

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