Do you have a bad habit of not following through on your New Year’s resolutions? Be different this year! Forget about resolutions and focus on setting effective SMART goals to improve the quality of your life in 2015.
What are SMART Goals?
If you live and work in Silicon Valley, chances are you’ve heard of SMART goals before. SMART is an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable (or Achievable), Relevant, and Time-Based. Let’s look at each of these elements in more detail.
Specific: Often, typical resolutions are quite vague, such as “lose weight” and “look for a new job.” It is much more effective to set specific goals such as “lose 15 pounds” and “register with three employment agencies.” Consider creating a vision board as a powerful visual aid to goal setting. No need to go to an arts and crafts store—Pinterest works well for vision boards.
Measurable: If you can’t (or don’t) measure your progress, how will you know if you are getting closer to your goal? Whether it’s weighing yourself at the same time each day, or tracking your progress in a self-paced learning course, you must find a way to make your goals measurable. If you recognize that you are veering off-track, change your approach until your efforts are once again bringing you closer to your intended result.
Attainable: Effective goals challenge us to grow, but also ground us from aspiring to do too much. Simply put, an effective SMART goal should be set high enough that it pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you stretch beyond your current abilities. At the same time, the scope of the goal should be reasonable and give you an excellent chance of success. By the way, if you find out later that your initial goal was not attainable, don’t abandon it—simply rework it so you are better positioned to succeed.
Relevant: The most powerful and motivating goals are ones that have meaning and impact to you. It’s not enough to know that you “should” do something—you have to want it for yourself and be willing to work toward its achievement.
Time-based: It has often been said, “a goal without a deadline is a dream.” Setting a time boundary on your goal is vitally important. An example of a specific, time-based goal for a job seeker would be, “apply to five jobs on Craigslist each week in January.”
Get Ready Now
January 1st is approaching rapidly, but there is still time to prepare for the New Year. Think carefully about your goals and gather whatever resources you will need to get started right away. Consider choosing a friend or colleague to hold you accountable to your goals and support you in the process. Professionals can be of tremendous value as well. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area there are countless organizations dedicated to education, health/wellness, artistic growth, financial advice and wealth management, or whatever form your goal takes.
Should one of your goals be career-related, Menlo Partners is happy to assist in whatever way we can. Contact our office for a review of your resume or an informational interview with one of our recruiters.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and successful New Year!
Menlo Partners Staffing provides temporary staffing and direct hire, contingent recruitment services for roles within accounting, administration, finance, human resources, marketing and operations. Contact us today by phone at 650-752-6193 or by email at email@example.com.