4 ways to set yourself smart goals at work

Impressing your boss is goal number one for any ambitious employee. But being the best of the best requires a killer strategy to match.

Setting smart, manageable goals is vital to continued success in the workplace, so check out our useful guide to doing just that, and start marking out your salary request for that next promotion.

1. An exact science

Specificity is key to setting targets. An exact goal has a much higher chance of being accomplished than a general goal.

So, you need to work out the what, why, where and how of any objective before you attempt to pull it off. It’s simple really, just be thorough.

2. Yes we can (or can we?)

Checking the achievability of what you aim to do is perhaps the most important rule of goal-setting.

No matter how hard you try, if your target is to be CEO of the company in three weeks it’s just not going to happen is it?

Perseverance is a major tool in any career-minded person’s armoury, but it doesn’t outweigh realism. So take a long hard look at what your aims are, and maybe get a colleague to check them out for you too?

3. Keep a record

Tracking your progress towards a long term goal is the only way to tell if you’re knocking down the door or still several miles off.

Why not set smaller targets along the way and check them off in a bigger career spreadsheet? That way it’ll feel like you’re on track, and could mean a well-needed  confidence boost that’ll spur you on your way to the big’un.

4. What’s the time frame?

Grounding your goal within a time period is a necessity. Without this focus it could go on for years, meaning you never achieve what you set out to, which could result in stagnation in the workplace, and nobody wants that, least of all you.

Believing you can get to where you want to be in a reasonable time frame will help you get into the right attitude too. If you don’t have confidence in your own ability, no one else will.

Remember, someday can be the same as saying never.

Still struggling to structure your achievement? Check out this great video from Mind Tools for the ‘Five Rules of Goal Setting’
Now what?