When starting a new initiative – either professionally or personally – setting a clear, achievable goal is imperative to success. Without defining your goal, it is difficult to even know what you are working towards, and it makes it nearly impossible to declare when you have finished.
The first step may seem obvious: write out a goal statement. This should answer the question: what do you want to accomplish? What do I want to impact?
For example, if you are planning a new training campaign, think about what specific performance outcomes you want the training to address.
Next, think about how you will measure success. How can you monitor progress? What metrics will demonstrate that you have completed your goal?
If you are developing a goal for your business, think about what other stakeholders will want to know about your initiative. Can you demonstrate a return on investment? Can you tie your goal to specific business objectives, and what metrics will reflect that?
Now make sure these measurements are reflected in your goal statement.
This may sound overwhelming, but it is all easy to tackle when following a goal-setting method.
One common method for setting goals is the SMART method:
Specific – Define exactly what your goal is
Measurable – Define from the beginning how you will measure success
Achievable – Discuss with stakeholders whether your goal is possible. Break gigantic goals into smaller ones to tackle your projects in more manageable, measurable steps.
Relevant – Make sure you set goals that are worthy of your attention at the moment in time.
Time bound – Set a realistic timeline for yourself. Whatever you do, don’t leave it without some kind of deadline.
The benefit of using the SMART method is it forces you to think about each component of your goal separately. If you are having trouble defining the goal, then move on to how you will measure it or what makes it achievable, and you may discover that you need to break it down into multiple projects.
Setting goals can be intimidating, but when you follow a framework like SMART goals, you have an easy template to keep yourself on track. Learn more about creating a training program plan with this free, on-demand webinar.
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