Guest Contributor: Catherine Crawford
September is the only month that rivals January for that feeling of a new beginning, a fresh start. As many of us have enjoyed the lazy days of summer, Fall brings a sense of change and a newfound energy with it. Whether you are headed back to school, back to the office in some capacity, or are looking for a career change, the Fall is a great time to refocus and set goals.
When it comes to your career, setting goals and making them achievable is a way to hold yourself accountable by putting new routines in place this season. SMART goals are an acronym used for goal setting. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Goals are part of every aspect of career and life and provide a sense of motivation, direction, clarity, and focus. So how does one go about setting SMART goals this season? Let’s breakdown each area of this acronym:
S – Specific: Goals that are well defined have a significantly greater chance of being accomplished. To make a goal specific, the five “W” questions must be considered. Who, When, What, Where, and Why?
M – Measurable: How are you going to measure your progress? If there are no criteria, you will not be able to determine your development and if you are on track to reach your goal.
A – Achievable: The goal must be achievable and attainable. The achievability of the goal should make you feel challenged but defined well enough that you can achieve it. This will help you figure out ways you can realize your goal and work towards it.
R – Realistic: Is the goal within reach? Do you have the time and resources available to you to achieve your goal? As well, are you able to fully commit to your goal?
T – Timely: Goals must have a start and finish date. There will be no sense of urgency and, therefore, less motivation to achieve the goal, if the goal is not time constrained.
Taking the time to create SMART goals will help you refocus your career goals this Fall. Being intentional about your strategy will set you up for success. Once you have defined your SMART goals, start each morning by reviewing your goals for the day and end each night by reflecting on what you achieved. Regularly following this routine will add intention and direction to your journey.
Catherine Crawford, BA, CRS, CCS