During my recent one-to-one working through my Development Programme, I was asked to set both personal and professional goals. I found the process of thinking about not only what I wanted to achieve within my professional career but also in my personal life really affective and since setting my personal goals specifically, it has changed my outlook on what I really want to achieve over the next year.
There are many benefits to setting goals, and we’re going to explore what they are here, explain what SMART goals are and offer some examples of goals you might want to set yourself.
Benefits of setting goals
There are many benefits to setting goals, some of which are:
- Focus and a direction
I have always been obsessed with making lists and working through ticking tasks off, both in my personal and professional life, however, I have never set myself long term goals. Now that I have set goals for the next year, they have given me focus and direction. I am always thinking about my goals and what needs to be done to achieve them. I’m using my time more effectively as I know the outcome is something I really want to achieve.
- Keeping yourself motivated
Having goals keeps you motivated in your day-to-day life. Knowing that you are working towards something that is important to you will ensure you’re focused on what you want and where you want to be. For example, if you know your goal is to earn a promotion, you’re going to do all you can to achieve it.
- Personal satisfaction
From someone who is an avid list-maker, my favourite thing is to tick jobs off my day-to-day list of tasks and working towards getting everything finished by the end of the day. However, with a goal, it’s a completely different feeling. A goal is something you usually have to spend time and effort working towards, for example, gaining a qualification, saving for a holiday, buying your first home etc. so once you achieve it, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction is greater.
- Helps you decide what’s important
Having goals and working towards them will help you to decide what your priorities are. If one of your goals is to save money for a new car yet your friends want to book a group holiday, you can then decide what is more important to you. If it’s using your savings to go on the holiday, that’s ok, you just need to re-evaluate the goal you have set yourself and make sure it really is relevant.
Goals Should be S.M.A.R.T
The S.M.A.R.T process can be effectively used to set yourself realistic goals.
S – Specific – Be specific in what you want to achieve with your goal. If it’s learning how to cook, how many recipes would you like to learn? If it’s learning how to use Photoshop, what do you want to specifically learn how to do using Photoshop?
M – Measurable – To ensure your goal is measurable, you need to define what evidence will prove you’re making progress to achieve your goal. This way, you can track the progress and re-evaluate if needed. For example, if your goal is to save a certain amount of money, how much are you going to save each week/month to achieve your goal?
A – Attainable – Make sure your goal is realistic and achievable within the timeframe you have set yourself. If your goal is earn a promotion for example, you will need to accomplish lots of tasks that will add up to accomplishing this goal.
R – Relevant – Your goals should be relevant to your life and what route you want to take. Setting yourself a goal of buying a house when first you need to save for a deposit wouldn’t be a relevant goal as you’re jumping to step two before achieving step one.
T – Time-based – Set yourself realistic timeframes to achieve your goals. You’re not going to learn a new language in a day whereas you could within a year.
Putting the above process into action, you can ensure you’re setting yourself achievable personal and professional goals.
Below are some ideas of goals people like to set themselves.
- Earning a promotion
- Earning a pay rise
- Getting a new job
- Passing an exam/gaining a qualification
- Learning a new skill
- Implement a new process
- Increase the size of your team
- Saving for a house deposit
- Buying a car
- Exercise more
- Save for and book a holiday
- Learn how to cook
- Learn a foreign language
- Spend more time with family and friends
Remember, all goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Decide what’s important to you, set yourself some goals and see how they change your perspective on your future.
Personally, I’m grateful for the Embryo Development Programme and the time I get to spend with my manager discussing where I want to be in the future and how Embryo want to support me to get there.