Have you set yourself goals at work for this year? If you haven’t, go away and set some and then come back and read this.

Done it? Good. Now read on to see whether you’ve set the right sort of goals or whether you might be selling yourself short…

What’s the point of setting goals at work? Well, it helps you to focus, to plan and to motivate yourself. If you’re clear about what you want to achieve, you can work out a strategy to make it happen. If you leave things vague, you’re far less likely to take the actions necessary to succeed.

Also, if you set clear goals, you can measure your progress and see if you’re on track.

This is why many books about setting goals at work talk about SMART goals. SMART stands for:

• Specific
• Measurable
• Achievable
• Realistic
• Timed

So a SMART goal might be, ” I will speak to 20 new prospects by the end of this month ” or, ” I will make get promoted to ( X grade ) within two years. ”

SMART goals are generally thought to be a good thing because they are clear, definite, measurable. You set yourself a deadline and this helps you to focus and motivates you. These goals are much more helpful than ones such as, ” I want to get more clients ” or, ” I will make more money this year “.

The point about them being Achievable and Realistic is supposed to be that it stops you setting ridiculous goals that you can never achieve.

BUT…this is what worries me a bit about SMART goals. Because who says what is achievable and realistic? If it’s you, then what happens if you’re not very confident, not too sure about what you can do? The temptation then is to set goals which are limited by your existing beliefs about what you can do. In other words, you set wimpy goals – ones which don’t challenge you too much or make you feel uncomfortable.

A really good goal ( one that’s worth achieving ) SHOULD make you feel a bit uncomfortable. It should stretch you and make you catch your breath and think, ” Wow, what if I could really do that? That would be amazing! ” Because those goals will really get your blood racing and motivate you. Those goals will really make a difference in your life.

For example, if you’ve set yourself a goal of making a certain amount of money or getting a certain number of new clients this year because you think that’s SMART, why not increase that by 10%, or however much it takes to make you take a breath and go, ” Wow, just think if I could do that! ”

Someone once said ( and I’m sorry I can’t remember who it was ) that the point about a goal is not what you get by achieving it but who you become by achieving it. A really good goal changes you when you achieve it. Even if you don’t achieve it in the time you set, believing it is possible and pushing yourself to get there will change you anyway.

So, when you’re setting goals at work, don’t just settle for SMART goals, set yourself a BIG one – a Breathtaking Inspiring Goal!
Good luck!

Author's Bio: 

Alan Matthews is a trainer, coach and speaker who helps people to be successful managers and leaders - people who can bring out the best in themselves and those around them. For more articles and a free copy of The Book Of 100 Management Tips, visit http://www.manageleadsucceed.com