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How to Set Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

Before your next performance review, sit down and set your own goals, so you’re prepared and have actionable items ready to go. This is always a great way to impress your boss! Your objectives should be a balance between supporting your company’s mission and helping you grow in your career. If the goals you’re setting don’t do one of those two things, then they won’t be helpful to you, and you’ll be less likely to follow through with them.

Setting goals sounds easy, but achieving them can be more difficult. Follow these tips to make sure you choose objectives you know you can accomplish.

1. Understand your coworkers

It’s essential to know and understand the functions of everyone on your team and their relationships. This will help you choose objectives that not only help you be more productive but also help your whole group be more efficient. This way, you’ll be able to create goals that will better support your colleagues.

2. Try to make your boss’s job easier

It might not be explicitly written in your job description, but you should try to make your boss’s life easier. Before you write your goals, sit down with your supervisor, and ask them what you can do to make their job easier. They’ll appreciate the fact that you’re proactive so they can get back to bigger picture projects.

Read also: 9 Tips for Getting Your Boss to Support Your Ideas

3. Focus on what you can control

You can’t control everything, especially if you’re setting goals that rely on other people or other departments. When you’re creating a plan for meeting your targets, have a clear outline for how you can achieve the goals you can control and have a strong communication plan for those that rely on other people.

4. Think about your long-term career goals

Just because you’re writing objectives to achieve in your current job during the upcoming year, doesn’t mean you can’t think about your long-term career aspirations in the process. Figure out what skills and accomplishments you need to take the next step in your career. Write goals that help you gain those skills.

Read also: Take Control of Your Own Career Development

5. Look at the big picture

Think beyond your daily tasks and your job description. You can add educational opportunities to your goals because continued learning can help you expand your responsibilities, which will help the company grow and will help you move forward in your career.

6. Make your goals SMART

The best way to help you achieve your goals is to create SMART ones. SMART objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Make sure that it’s realistic to complete these tasks during the time limit you set. Consider breaking some larger tasks into smaller goals to make them more manageable and realistic.

7. Review previous goals

Pull out your objectives from last year and look at what you completed and what went unfinished. If you didn’t achieve all of them, determine why. Was it because your job description changed, and they were no longer relevant? Were they too lofty, and it just wasn’t possible to complete them in time? Look at the ones you were able to accomplish. Did they help you grow? Did they help your company grow?

Use last year’s goals as a starting point for this year’s. If you couldn’t complete an objective during the previous year because it was bigger than you thought it would be, set that goal again this year, but break it up into more manageable pieces.

Read also: 8 Things to Do Before Your Next Performance Review