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Steps To Set Achievable Goals

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Steps To Set Achievable Goals

Goals are intermediary destinations which lead you to your final destination, i.e. what you want to set your life at. However, the destinations you are passing through should not confound and de-track you. Instead, they must make your journey steady and right on target. For this, you need to have a plan.

So, let’s see few guidelines to set achievable goals:

Envision Your Ambition

Your ambition is the culmination of all your short-term and mid-term goals. It is very broad in scope and requires a lot of effort, for instance, “to start a business” or “to be a manager”. Visualize your ambition and see how it would be after you realize it. It will be like a beacon towards which you make your journey.

Divide Your Ambition into Goals

Break down your ambition into yearly, half-yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and even daily goals. These short-term and mid-term goals are necessary to reach your final goal without hassles. Remember you cannot set up your business straightaway as soon as you decide. You need to do a lot of ground work such as gathering information about the raw material, human resource, transportation, market area, finding location, obtaining capital, etc. You need to weave your goals around these aspects.

Focus on Realistic and Challenging Goals

Follow the SMART principle while designing goals for yourself. Consider your resources and strengths while making your long-term and short-term goals. Your goals should not be too difficult or too easy or you could feel disappointed and quit. Therefore, a SWOT analysis can enable you to set realistic and measurable goals which are within your reach.

Set Performance-based Goals

Once you analyze your strengths and weaknesses, set your goals such that they challenge your present performance. Create a performance chart for each day, week and month. Set your daily activities so that you reach your performance target for the day. When you reach your daily target, you can reach your weekly, monthly and eventually yearly performance targets.

Set a Goal Evaluation Process

This process helps you make adjustments to your strategies in case you are not able to reach your short-term goals in time. Through this process, you can identify what works for you and what does not. Thus, you can keep developing strategies that could well take you towards your goal.

Do not leave anything to chance. You need to be proactive to analyze your goals vis-a-vis your ambition and take steps to correct your strategies if they do not help you reach your short-term goals.

Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • Sometimes we over complicate this process. Two simple questions help us start to translate our goals from mere intents into firm deliverable plans. The first question to ask about your goal is WHY? Why is the goal important to you – keep asking this question until you discover your root motivation for why the achievement of this goal really matters to you in terms of your core beliefs, values and drivers. This will give you a real incentive to pursue the goal despite setbacks and difficulties because you have uncovered the essential purpose behind your goal. The second question is HOW? Repeatedly asking the how question in relation to your goal will cause you to address what it will take to make it happen and deal with the big challenges and obstacles that might prevent you from being successful. How questions will also allow you to see the scale of what you have to achieve to reach your goal, giving you the opportunity to refocus your goal if your aspiration is too unrealistic. Having asked repeated why questions (to build purpose and incentive) and repeated how questions (to break down what has to be done to get you to your end goal) you can then add two final sets of questions i.e. Who and When? that will provide you with all the detail to populate your final plan of action.

  • Dr. Venkat

    I could not agree more on what Tim chapman has commented on it. It all primarily is all about keep-it-simple concept. But different people explain/ express it differently. WHY-HOW-WHY-HOW—–and finally WHEN is simply superb. That is all what it is all about. I usually say the same thing in the counseling but with different words, i.e., Every individual is born with some talent and that needs (inner talent) to be identified by the time a student completes his/her education either primarily by their teachers, or parents or by themselves. What I love to call as KITT (Knowledge, skIll, Technology and finally Tools) is required for any individual to succeed in life.

    Once the inner talent is identified then what is actually needed is to polish that as you grow, acquire as much Knowledge, needed Technology and Tools to get to where you deserve to…

    The ultimate goal is usually, in any individual, will be /should be close to what he/she is capable of (i.e., inner talent).

  • Michael J. Spangle

    It always helps to start with the basics. We need to be SMART about our goals and our plans to get to them.
    Specific
    Measurable
    Attainable
    Relevant
    Time-bound
    I want to get more education is not a specific goal. I want to earn 10 college credits within the next year is specific.
    I want a better paying job is not measureable. I want to be earning $10,000 more a year is measurable.
    I will never be President of the United States but I can be a more productive Planner, while working on getting back into training full-time. This is an attainable goal.
    Becoming a better dancer, while it may be good exercise, is not relevant to my career. Improving my communication skills is applicable, and thus relevant to both career and personal life.
    The use of the terms someday or when I get the chance or later should never be used in setting goals. A specific time frame creates both accountability and a strong basis for short and long-term planning.

  • Dr. Venkat

    I believe now we can all agree that certainly a SMART KITT is needed to get to where we want to…

  • I just did a presentation and an online interview last week about this very topic. The problem isn’t always goal setting but goal execution. Even those who master the SMART technique can get distracted by trying to create goals that “sound good” and fail to think about how they are going to accomplish them. The second (and often missed) step in this process is to break each goal into specific actionable steps–small behaviors that make sense and that you can do daily, weekly, monthly to get where you are going. We need much less focus on talking about goals and creating statements that sound like self-help book titles.

  • Michael J. Spangle

    You make a very good point there Karen. I think though, that part of the “actionable” aspect in goal setting is performing the very process that you have described.

  • Debbie Clifford

    It’s an old acronym, but it works! Make sure that all goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely/timebound.

    It is also useful when setting goals to realistically assess your starting point and your end goal, then break down the steps to achieve the goal. Nothing good is ever achieved in a day and also it needs to be manageable to achieve.

  • Jacqueline M. Walters

    The best practices to make goals achievable. Assess one’ drive quotient, for a driving ambition. One must possess a high need for goal achievements, and welcome the change as realistic. Enjoy taking calculated risk, do not allow stress and tension to stifle one’s creativity.
    SELF-CONFIDENCE is needed for believing in one’s skills/abilities in goal accomplishments. Goal oriented, motivated to take risk, overcome challenges, grow, and aspire success in goal achievements.
    PERSEVERENCE which means succeeding because one is determined to, not destined to.
    INITIATIVE AND ACCOUNTABILITY being internally guided to steps/actions and taking responsibillity for those step/action for desired results.
    OPTIMISM having tendencies to look to the bright side, and be hopeful for the best out come.
    FLEXIBILITY AND ADAPTABILITY the abilities to adapt to the needs of others or situations to accomplish the goal.
    GOAL ORIENTATION setting the program goal matrix and working towards its accomplishment. Set targets that are high enough to stimulate exceptional effort, but are still within achievement range.
    DRIVE AND ENERGY the abilities to put maximum mental and physical effort behind reaching objectives and to keep going until the aims are achieved.