Why is goal setting so important and how can it make you more productive and effective in your personal and professional life? Goals give you focus. When you are focused, you are able to minimize distractions. You can be the most talented person in the room, but if you cannot remain focused, your talents, skills and abilities become ineffective. Staying focused and on task makes you productive which can save you countless hours of wasted time. Time that could be spent with family and friends or used to build your business.
Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (or tangible). In other words, they should be S.M.A.R.T. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals allow you the best chance of success.
Set Specific Goals
Your goals must be specific and should include the 5 W’s. Who, What, Where, When and Why. A simple goal is “I am going to create a work-life integration strategy.” That’s a great goal but it’s not specific, which means it cannot be measured. Instead, your goal should be more like “I am going to create a work-life strategy that works for my personal and professional life by April 1st so that I can be more productive and effective at home and at work.
By breaking this goal down you can see:
- Who: You
- What: Work-life integration plan strategy
- Where: Home and work
- When: By April 1st
- Why: To become more effective and productive in your personal and professional life
Measure Your Progress
Now that you have your specific goal, how do you measure it? You do that by setting concrete target dates and tracking your progress. For example, by month 1, you will have the steps lined out on how you will achieve your goal, by month 2, step 1 and 2 will be complete and so on until you reach your goal date. Be sure to celebrate each achievement along the way.
Make Your Goals Attainable
To make these goals attainable, you need to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills and be financially capable to reach them. Your goals become attainable because you have grown and expanded yourself in order to achieve them.
Keep the Goals Realistic and Relevant
Goals cannot be achieved if they are not realistic. Your goal should be high but not so high that you cannot actually reach it. It should represent significant developments and it should keep you motivated to move on to the next step and motivate you to create more goals.
Goals should be Timely or Tangible
Lastly, your goal should have a time-frame. Don’t set a goal that includes “someday”. It should be a hard date (i.e. April 1st). Or if the T means tangible, you should be able to have something that you can experience through taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing.
If you don’t already set S.M.A.R.T. goals, do so, starting now. As you make this technique part of your life, you’ll increasingly see the benefits of how it helps you integrate your personal and professional life, and you’ll wonder how you did without it!