We all have dreams, aspirations, and goals that we want to achieve. They can be lofty, like aspiring to be the CEO of a Fortune 100 company. Or they can be more humble, like working out 5 days a week. Whatever the case, setting smaller goals will not only keep you on track but, in fact, accelerate you through the more difficult parts and help you reach your goals quickly and without burnout.
Setting smaller goals is a fantastic way to pump yourself up and not become overwhelmed by larger, loftier goals. By consistently achieving small parts, you feel more on track and this is very energizing. When you are working on how to set up your goals, make sure that you are honest about what is realistic when it comes to time-frame and workload. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, relevant/Realistic, and Time-boxed. It may feel like it’s slowing you down- and it is. It may feel like it’s stifling your creativity- and it may very well be, temporarily to create more space for freedom. It may seem like minutia- and yet, it is NOT. S.M.A.R.T. goals are designed to ensure you reach your goal. They slow you down and focus your efforts on planning just long enough to set you up for success. The bigger and loftier the goal the more detailed you need to be in your S.M.A.R.T. plan. Let’s continue the example from earlier. Let’s say you want to work out for 2 hours, 5 days a week. Don’t immediately put the 2 hours Monday through Friday into your schedule. You will most likely burn out or fail to meet your goal and feel defeated. Instead, start with more achievable goals and work your way up to your final goal. Start out 3 days a week for an hour. Or take up a couple of classes at the gym. As your body gets used to the more strenuous exercise and builds stamina, add another day or another class. Work your way up in increments, congratulating yourself on the small victories. You will achieve your goal and feel more accomplished with fewer setbacks and stress.
This applies to your career, as well. Let’s say you have been assigned a lofty and lengthy assignment that will take several months to complete. Instead of thinking that you need to get X done by the end of the 6 months, train your brain to break it down. Sit down, either by yourself or with your team, and hammer out the critical points for the project. Decide when those components need to be finished. Then break down those critical points and set attainable goals for those pieces. By doing this, you are not only making sure that the project stays on track, you are also giving yourself and/or your team achievable goals that will keep them motivated, focused, and feeling like they are making progress... Read more >