5 step strategy to set your Career Goal
Have you ever felt that in spite of working very hard, you are not able to get anywhere worthwhile? Have you ever pondered why such a situation arises?
The key reason for feeling this way is that you haven’t spent much time thinking what exactly you want from life and secondly you have not converted your aspirations and desires into your goals.
Goal setting is a powerful thinking process which enables you to think about your ideal future. It has the power to keep you motivated to be able to convert your vision of future into reality. But the biggest challenge is how to set these goals correctly? Setting incorrect goals can be very harmful as it reduces your self-motivation and confidence.
Though every person takes a specific customized approach to setting individual goals for himself, but there are some guidelines which can help you in setting your goals effectively and also help you evaluate whether your goals are correct or not.Starting to Set Personal Goals
Before getting down to the actual process, you need to understand that you set goals at different levels. These levels are:
Mentioned below are 5 STEPS that will help you set your goals correctly:STEP 1: SETTING GOALS FOR LIFETIME
- The Big Picture: At this level, you need to decide what you want from life at large. It means visualizing yourself say ten years from now. You need to identify large scale goals (and not very specific ones) at this stage.
- Breaking down: At this level, you break your big picture into smaller and more specific goals. In all possibilities, you will have multiple goals to achieve at any stage of life.
- Planning and execution: Finally, when you have worked on your specific goals, you start making strategies for achieving them. You will also prioritize them as it may not be possible to achieve all of them together. At this stage, you know exactly which goal you are working for and how much time frame you need for it to be fulfilled.
In this step, you think about all the spheres of life that are important to you and set goals for each of them.The balanced coverage for all important areas of your life may include setting goals for your:
Lifestyle and leisure to name a few.STEP 2: SETTING SMALLER GOALS
Having set lifetime goals for each sphere of your life, you need to set up goals for a shorter span of time, say 5 years. You may realise that not every lifetime goal may have equal importance in the next 5 years. Hence, you need to focus more on the goals which are more relevant in that time frame.STEP 3: THE DAILY “TO-DO LIST”
Get down to developing a one year plan, one month plan till you get down to a daily “To-Do List”. This will help you to be focused always and will not let you deviate or forget important aspects related to your goals.STEP 4: UPDATING THE GOALS
Once, you have decided on your first set of goals, continue the process by reviewing and updating the goals regularly. Sometimes, due to changes in one’s circumstances and external environment, the relative importance of the goals may also change. A goal which was not so important when you started setting your goals, may become a high priority due to certain changes in one’s life. Your goal setting calendar should have the flexibility to accommodate such contingencies.STEP 5: EVALUATING GOALS
After having set your goals, it is also very important to evaluate your goals to be sure that they are correct and achievable. Setting impractical goals will lead to a lot of time and energy wastage. Goals are generally believed to be correct and effective if they can be termed as SMART.What this acronym SMART stands for is explained below:S: stands for Specific.
If your goal is subjective and not objective, it may not be a clearly well spelt goal. For example: “increasing the market share by next year" is not a specific goal. But, “Increasing the market share by 15% by July 2017” is a specific goal. Hence, you have to make your goals as specific as possible to be able to achieve them effectively.M : stands for Measurable.
Your goal should be such that it should be measurable and not abstract.A : stands for Attainable or Action Oriented.
Loosing 5 kgs of weight in one week is not an attainable goal. Hence, make sure your goal is humanly attainable as otherwise it can demoralize you and take you reverse on your goal setting path.R : stands for Relevant.
Your smaller goals should have complete relevance to your life time goals. Having a life time goal of becoming a fashion designer and applying for a degree in engineering have no relevance to each other and will not take you anywhere.T : stands for Time Bound.
A goal loses its significance if it is not achieved within a certain time frame. For example, a goal of improving your communication skills should have a time frame of say 6 months or 1 year. Without a time frame, your goal has no meaning. What is important today at present stage of life will not be important always.
If you are convinced that the goals set by you are SMART, you are on the right track of goal setting.