In the business world, goal setting is a survival skill. Setting clear, attainable end goals helps a woman move forward in her professional life, as well as outside the workplace. As an individual moves toward these ultimate targets, she can use the same goal-setting strategies to measure her progress along the way and make sure she stays on track. The ability to set effective goals can even help a woman stand out in the office. However, not every goal setting strategy is a good one. To ensure that goals are appropriate for the task at hand, just remember to keep them S.M.A.R.T.
Defining S.M.A.R.T. Goals
A S.M.A.R.T. goal is:
- Specific. Specific goals are easier to accomplish than general ones. Goals qualify as specific when they clearly identify a distinguishable task. For example, “go to college” is a general goal, while “complete a bachelor’s degree program in business administration” is a specific goal.
- Measurable. When goals are measurable, monitoring progress along the way is much easier. For example, “raise money for charity” is not a measurable goal because it doesn’t specify the amount of money that must be raised. On the other hand, “raise $4,000 for charity” is measurable. At any point in the process, the goal setter can count the money raised and determine how close she is to reaching her goal.
- Achievable. Defined goals should not be unreachable. When an individual sets a goal, she should be able to see the end in sight. If not, she may become discouraged. For example, “become a world-famous clothing franchise” is not an achievable goal for a start-up, even though it may qualify as achievable in the future.
- Relevant. Goals are much more likely to be reached if the participants actually care about them. Whenever setting goals, individuals should make sure that the purpose for the goal is clear. For example, asking members of a nonprofit organization to raise money for an unspecified cause won’t bring the same results as asking them to raise money for a private school.
- Time-framed. All career women know the importance of establishing and meeting deadlines in business. The same practice is effective in goal setting. Each goal should have a specific time limit, such as three months, one year, etc.
Why Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals?
Women can start using the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting strategy before ever entering the workforce. This strategy is useful in high school, college and even during the job search process. The more practice an individual has with S.M.A.R.T. goal setting, the more effective she will become. As a woman uses this strategy in her career, employers will take notice of her outstanding abilities, and she will be more likely to qualify for positions of leadership. In addition, her future teams will be more productive and successful.
Even though it takes some extra time, setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal isn’t difficult, and the desirable results make it well worth the effort. Not only will women enjoy better status at work when they use this strategy, but they will also benefit from S.M.A.R.T. goal setting in their personal lives.
What are your goals?
About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.