New year, new goals! Feeling overwhelmed by resolutions and career pressure? We've got your back, especially if you're a busy working woman. We are here to share tips and advice on how to set SMART goals for working women.
We understand that you are busy. You are back at work, getting the children ready for the imminent start of a new school year, and you still need to make time for yourself. This is where using the SMART goal-setting technique will help.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unattainable goals. It is important to give goal-setting careful thought and purpose; you should not jump into it without a plan.
What are SMART goals?
With SMART goals, you can reach your objectives by following a clear and simple plan. This works for all kinds of goals, including personal, professional, financial, and more. SMART goals can also be used for both short- and long-term goals.
These words make up the SMART acronym:
Specific: What is the goal you want to achieve? Don’t set goals that are too broad. Rather than setting your goal to “be a better colleague,” be specific and set a goal that you want to improve your listening skills, as an example.
Tip: Leave room to accommodate your strengths and weaknesses.
Measurable: How will you know if you are making progress towards your goal? Your progress can be evaluated at checkpoints, and changes can be made as needed. If your goal is to save R24 000 by the end of the year, create a budget and check your savings account each month to see how far you are.
Tip: For extra motivation, treat yourself when you reach a checkpoint. This will help you stay motivated.
Attainable: Do not set a goal that you cannot reach. You should be able to reach your goal. You might not become the CEO, but you could aim for a promotion.
Tip: Setting short-term goals that you can reach is a great way to stay motivated and focused.
Relevant: Your goals should be of interest to you and help you move towards your values, dreams, and ambitions. Believe in yourself, and think about how this goal fits into your bigger plans and how it will help you. For instance, if you dream of being in a different career, research that career, find out what you need to change careers, weigh up the pros and cons, and make it a goal.
Tip: When you are feeling unsure, imagine the day you reach your goal and play on that feeling for extra motivation.
Time-bound: Time-based goals create urgency and promote good time management. A deadline is a great way to help you stay on track and concentrate on what you need to do. An example could be your quarter
Tip: Use a countdown app on your laptop or phone for a visual reminder.
Keeping these goal-setting tips in mind will help you make a detailed plan for setting goals that will keep you on track. It will also create excitement and make your goal feel real and, more importantly, achievable.
Why set SMART goals as a working woman?
SMART goals can help you advance in your career. They can be about improving, increasing, developing, or controlling outcomes at work. Setting these SMART goals shows that you want to find meaning in your work and are ready to put in the time and effort to do so.
1. A better chance of being successful in your career
A professional goal is like a lighthouse that shows the way. You will be able to look at your career as a whole, and you can see your wins and losses and how you can factor this into your professional development.
2. Make informed choices
If you want to take charge of your career, setting SMART goals is an excellent way to begin focusing on specific outcomes you want to achieve. As you define your goals, consider what you enjoy doing, what you don't, what skills you need, and how you will learn them. This will enable you to grow professionally.
3. Enable you to stay on track
Setting clear, attainable goals will enable you to stay on track after a setback. Staying on track towards attaining your goal will help you feel more in control of your destination in your career.
4. You can track your progress
The best thing about setting career goals is that it can help you break down big goals into smaller, more manageable steps that show your progress more clearly. This is great motivation to help you stay on track.
Your goals will help you see where you want to go and how to get there. When you make SMART goals, you create a realistic plan for how to reach your goal, and it becomes attainable.
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