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SET BIG GOALS
Why is setting bigger goals important?
Setting bigger goals is important for your Professional Development because it gives you objectives to work towards and for which to look forward. Doing this can help you stay accountable in your career progress and encourage you to complete tasks successfully every day. Setting big goals may also challenge you to do things you may have thought about but never tried, and it can also help build your self-confidence in your career and other areas of your life.
What are bigger goals?
Bigger goals are long-term aspirational accomplishments that you hope to achieve over time. The definition of a big goal may be different for everyone. For some, a big goal may include starting a business or becoming a CEO. For others, they may include becoming a manager, successfully working multiple jobs at one time or finding full-time employment. You can scale goal setting to best match your abilities and determination.
How to set bigger goals throughout your career
Use these steps to learn how to set bigger goals in your career:
1. Review past goals
If you have set goals in the past, think about what they were and review them. Include both big and small goals that you completed and ones you didnt. Consider goals from all areas of your life. Think about the ones you achieved and ask yourself why they were successful. Consider how easy they were to attain, if you had help to achieve them or in what ways they motivated you. Consider if any of the unachieved goals are still important to you and would be something youd be interested in trying to complete again.
2. Understand the difference between dreams and goals
People often use the terms “dreams” and “goals” interchangeably, but there are some differences between the two. Goals are things you can accomplish someday by taking actionable steps to achieve them. For example, a goal for an accounting clerk may be to become manager of their department in five years. There are things they could do, starting now, to meet that goal.
However, a dream is something you hope happens, or want to happen, but there arent as many ways to achieve success. For example, the accounting clerk may have the dream of being in a rock band. While this isnt impossible and could be a goal for some people, if this clerks taken multiple years of piano, guitar or voice lessons without progress, this may be a dream of theirs rather than a goal.
3. Pick something inspiring
Pick a big goal that you actually want to accomplish. The goal you focus on could benefit your career, finances or education. It may also affect your attitude, dedication to public service or be a more personal goal. No matter the subject, choose something that keeps you motivated throughout the process. If a goal doesnt excite you, or you feel you might become bored while trying to achieve it, just pick another that makes you feel more passionate.
4. Use the SMART method
Consider using the SMART method when setting goals. SMART stands for:
Specific goals include a tangible element that you can work towards. This may include a number, time limit or deadline date. Instead of saying, “I want to make a lot of money,” consider a more specific goal such as, “I want to become a CEO to earn over $100,000 per year.”
Measurable goals include an element that allows you to track your progress through data or analysis. Instead of setting a goal like, “I want to get smarter,” consider a more measurable goal such as, “I want to learn 50 facts about bookkeeping.” The second example includes a numerical figure that you can track as you progress toward your goal.
Attainable goals are ones you can reach within a set timeframe. Setting attainable goals may help you understand the difference between goals and dreams.
Relevant goals relate to your current career, financial state, living situation or other factors of your life. For example, a freelance social media consultant may set a goal to recruit three new clients by the end of the month. They may not set a goal to create a life-saving vaccine in six months because its unrelated to their current skills and situation.
Time-based goals put a deadline on the process to add motivation and accountability to the process. Instead of saying, “I want to increase my web traffic by 30%,” consider saying, “I want to increase my web traffic by 30% by the end of the second quarter.”
5. Set small goals first
Because bigger goals take more time to achieve, set small goals first to keep yourself motivated and see more immediate progress. For example, the accounting clerk who wants to manage their department may set the goal to input at least 10 documents per day to better prepare to conduct monthly accounting reconciliations.
6. Pick midpoints
Over time, completing progress on small goals can accumulate into mid-sized goals. Consider marking these milestones to show even greater progress towards your bigger goals. For example, the accounting clerk may hope to achieve an above-average rating on their next performance review on the path to managing the department. This may be a midpoint milestone achieved by successful completion of daily tasks.
7. Use positive statements
Frame your goals using positive statements. Focus on the items you want to achieve or accomplish. Use words like “can,” “will” and “successful.” Avoid words that could signal doubt such as “not,” “never” or “dont.”
8. Develop a plan
After youve identified your goals, decide in which order youll complete the small and medium-sized ones to reach your bigger ones. Consider making a written or visual representation of your plan, or choosing another method that works best for you.
9. Take action
Complete the tasks in your plan. Successful goal setting includes small first goals that you can achieve with ease as you build to more challenging items. You may choose to tackle more difficult topics first to build your tenacity or easier ones to build your initial confidence. Either option is acceptable as long as it keeps you motivated.
10. Develop a strategy
Craft a strategy to supplement your plan to help keep you accountable and motivated throughout the process. This may include finding and talking to a mentor, making daily to-do lists and crossing off items or vlogging or blogging about your experiences.
11. Tell other people about your goals
Share both your short- and long-term goals with other people, such as friends, family members or coworkers. Telling other people what you aspire to may help hold you accountable and keep working towards your achievements.
12. Track your progress
Consider tracking your progress as you work through small goals and reach milestones. You may write your progress in a journal, use a spreadsheet program or a visual chart. Use this tracker to see how much progress youre making over time and what you have left to complete.
13. Celebrate your achievements
Allow yourself to celebrate when you reach mid-point milestones and finally your big goals. At medium milestones, you may allow yourself to eat a treat or make a small purchase as a reward for your work. When you reach your big goals, you may have larger rewards such as taking vacation time, throwing a party or making a bigger purchase. Choose a reward system thats compatible with your lifestyle and budget.
14. Believe in yourself and your goals
Believing in yourself and your goals may make them easier to accomplish. While its natural to wonder if theyre possible or if youre making the right decisions, allow yourself to think about those feelings and discover why youre having them. Doing so can give you the opportunity to adjust your strategy or plan to reignite your passion for the goal or process.
15. Allow your goals to change
Over time, your big goals may change. As youre working toward a larger goal, after new experiences or education, you may find its not exactly what you want anymore. Allow yourself the freedom to abandon big goals that no longer interest you and choose new ones instead that better align with your skills or passions. For example, the accounting clerk may realize after two years of working towards a management position that theyd rather work as an accountant for a nonprofit organization thats important to them. They may change their big goal and add new, smaller goals to their plan to adjust.
16. Continue to challenge yourself
If you meet your small, medium and large goals with ease, consider choosing more challenging goals for your next goal-setting cycle. This can help you build new skills and test your limits to find your balance of challenging but attainable goals.
Is it good to have big goals?
What are some big goals?
What are the 3 types of goals?
- Become an inspiration to others.
- Master a difficult skill.
- Become a thought leader in your industry.
- Get promoted to an executive role at your company.
- Learn about how to become a millionaire.
- Go on a trip around the world.
- Travel to your dream country.
- Double your personal income.