Once you feel 100% committed to turning your dream of reentering the workforce into a reality, goal setting can be a powerful way to keep you motivated and inspired to take action. But, the sole presence of a goal is not the key to success. Droves of people set New Year’s resolutions each year on December 31st that often fizzle out by the end of January. Fortunately, there is a simple formula you can follow to ensure that you achieve what you define as success. Using the SMART goal method can help you clarify your criteria, structure your trajectory and measure the results.
What is a SMART goal?
SMART is an acronym you can use to design specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals. Take a moment to think about what you want your overall life to look like in 1 year. How will your new job fit into your life? What will your career look like in 5 years? Once you have visualized your ideal future, you can define how you'll achieve your desires with the SMART model:
Describe the what, why and how of your goal in this step. For instance, rather than saying “I want to reenter the workforce,” your goal can become more effective by stating, “I will gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to shift into the digital marketing field at the entry level where I can use my creativity and my analytical skills.”
By making goals measurable, you can keep an eye on your progress and how close you are to accomplishing what you have set out to do. You can even measure soft targets like satisfaction by establishing a scale from 1 to 10, where one is the least satisfied and ten is the most. Note down your ratings along the way. Watching your development can be an incredible way stay determined on your path! An example of a measurable goal might be, “I will identify and contact five people within my network who have worked in the digital marketing field within the last five years."
As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” Our goals help us drive change, so we can continue to grow and evolve. We must be realistic if we want to maintain enthusiasm to reach those targets. Think about the goal that you have structured thus far and consider if your goal depends on things you can’t control, like the actions of others. What are the other constraints? How will you accomplish this goal?
Now that you have a solid goal forming make sure it reflects what you want and what is important to you. At this stage, it is useful to think about the resources available. Are there any loose ends that need to be tied up before starting down this path? How does this goal align with ambitions you have in other areas of your life? Make sure you take steps to adopt the right mindset before moving forward.
Make your goal truly tangible and give yourself a deadline! With a finishing day or time written out, you can work backward and break the larger goal down into smaller subtasks to guide your daily actions. Staying flexible and refining your path as you start to see results will help you overcome challenges and stay positive.
Once you create your SMART goal, put it to the test. How committed are you to this goal? Who will hold you accountable? Adjust if necessary to assure that you dedicate yourself to making it happen. Finally, track your progress! Get feedback from your support system, revisit and monitor quantifiable figures and other metrics.
Goal setting using the SMART methodology has proven to produce results. It simply requires your realistic focus, measured steps, and consistency.
Now, let’s get going…. I am here to help!