Goal setting is a tool that can be beneficial to us in all areas of our life, be it at home, work, fitness program or any other interest or hobby we may be following. The process of setting goals for ourselves not only influences our performance in that area but it also helps to build a positive change in us such as motivating us and breeding success. The success factor also contributes to building our self confidence.
Setting goals for yourself in all walks of your life are a requirement of success. In order to be successful one needs to know what one wants to achieve and how to go about it. If one does not map the requirements for attaining a goal one can never be successful.
Normally we have the tendency to work towards our goals by setting our mind towards it, we get excited and work on it and then the level of interest and motivation starts to wane. Having clear cut goals that you can focus on and visualize helps you better connect yourself with your inner desires and aims and gives you the required motivational energy you need to work through periods when your interest and focus starts to wane.
If we now turn our focus on the corporate world of today it’s the time of year when all working colleagues are engrossed in this process at work. The normal performance appraisal system in your organization probably focuses on setting of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based) goals and you must be already familiar with this process. However we will focus on a few more areas which would help contribute to successful achievement of goals.
In order to draw up a map to successfully achieve your goals apply the following principles as well :
BELIEVABLE : It should be clear to you how each performance indicator you have defined against the goal will contribute towards higher performance and the ultimate achievement of the goal in total . The higher the level of believability the higher the level of commitment to achieve the goal. You must believe that you can reach the goal for it to happen.
POSITIVE : The language used is important and it’s best to set goals phrased positively rather than negatively. The “can do” words like – accomplish, achieve, contribute, complete, ensure, generate etc. Positive goal-setting helps you focus on success instead of failure. Moreover, to turn a negative goal into a positive one, ask yourself a question: “What needs to be done instead?”
SHORT / LONG TERM : Smaller goals are more attainable and when goals are achieved it helps to promote a feeling of success. Short-term goals are important because they also give us the opportunity to see immediate improvements in performance and thus enhance motivation. Without short-term goals, we can lose sight of our more long-term objectives thus indirectly contributing to non-achievement.
COMMITMENT : You should be committed to achieve your goals. Commitment is what spurs us to take action and what we would be willing to give our best efforts to achieve. Being committed is a willingness to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to fulfill our responsibilities and focus on achieving our goals. Being dedicated and committed is part of growing in the organization and transcending to the next level.
FEEDBACK : A regular feedback system should be in place. Research indicates that performance feedback is absolutely necessary if performance is to remain on track and goals are to be achieved. Without such feedback, we are unable to track the progress being made toward goals and may also be unable to see if we are moving away to another direction.
IS there anything which could contribute to stopping the achievement of GOALS
There are many advantages to implementing a Performance management / goal-setting process in an organization. However we should be aware of some problems which may arise.
- OVERLOAD OF GOALS : Managers tend to become over ambitious and one problem which may occur is the setting of too many goals. This could results in a overload on an employee. In order to avoid this, the accepted norm is 5 – 7 goals maximum so that an employee can prioritize the goals and focus attention on them in order of importance.
- GOALS ARE TOO GENERAL : If you can’t measure the goal in terms of what needs to be achieved, be it specific timelines, numbers, etc it’s too vague and general to be used effectively. And again, remember thatprocess goals are preferable to product goals because you have a greater control over them.
- TIME ESTMATIONS : Correctly estimating the timelines required for various actions and completion of a goal is essential. If goal completion time is not estimated accurately it can cause a lot of discouragement when things take longer to achieve than originally thought. If this happens it would cause the employee to give up on the goal and leave it incomplete.
- NEGATIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS GOALSETTING . It is essential that employees are on board at the very start. Otherwise there will not be a buy-in towards the goal setting process and the whole process will be doomed to failure. Managers need to sell the product to their team so that they can see the benefits that they can achieve as a result of the goal setting and get them onboard
To be effective, a systematic goal-setting approach must be designed which caters to the needs of the business and carried out accordingly.
But clichés aside, understanding the importance of goal setting, its contribution towards success and knowing how to set goals for yourself is vital to accomplishing great things in your life.