Set Realistic and Smart Goals in 2016

The beginning of the year is always a time of dreaming, planning and strategizing. It offers the opportunity to start again and do it better than you have always done before. Achievements and or disappointments from the previous year can cause you to set lofty goals and rather unrealistic goals.

If you are familiar with the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) concept, you will know that its proponents advocate for aiming for something that is totally beyond you and which you know you can only dream of achieving.  The key word there is dream; because once you can dream it and envision it and work hard enough on it, you can achieve it.

How then can we separate reality from fairy tales? By taking action using the SMART approach. Your goals should be:

Specific: Your goal should be targeted towards a particular outcome and not a random wish. So for instance rather than plan to make money, assign a monetary figure and say your goal is to make N5, 000,000 in 2016. Describe in detail the work that needs to be done and who needs to do it and how they are to do it.

Measurable: This helps you keep track of what has been accomplished so far and what is left. It is also important to assign attributes or units so you can easily evaluate progress of the goal. So using the previous example, you will need to divide your goals into chunks of say N500, 000 and assign time slots for it.

Attainable: Is your goal achievable? Setting goals comes with a certain degree of expectation and with that also comes disappointment. Ensure that your goal is attainable, reasonable and within limits of what can be humanly done.

Relevant: What is the motive behind your goal? Will it make things better? What purpose will attaining your goal achieve? It is good to set goals that tie in with your personal or corporate vision so that your goal contributes to something that is truly important to you.

Time- bound: This has to be the most important of all the factors. A goal without time allotted to it is fantasy. For goals to be effective and produce the type of results we want, they must be time bound so we can hold ourselves accountable for our actions or inactions and avoid procrastination.

Setting goals should not be overwhelming, rather it should give you clarity and challenge you to do more and be more.

What are your own goal setting tips?  Please share in the comments.

Download our free goal setting template here

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