Managing Through Goal Setting

Unless you know what you want to achieve, there’s no way to measure how close you are to achieving that objective. Goals give you a standard against which to measure your progress.

The goals you set for accomplishing the company’s/department’s mission must be in line with the vision and what your company wants you to do. If what you plan to achieve for your job, department, or team isn’t coordinated with the goals of your organization, you’ll waste your time and energy.

Goals are the foundation of motivational programs. By reaching toward your goals, you become motivated, and by knowing the goals of your team members and helping them reach those goals, you help to motivate them.

The process of setting goals takes time, energy, and effort. Goals aren’t something you scribble on a napkin during a coffee break-you must plan what you truly want to accomplish, establish timetables, determine who will do each action step, brainstorm all the possible obstacles, create a solution for the obstacles, review all of the rewards and consequences of achieving or not achieving the goal, and implement the goal.


Criteria for setting goals.

To ensure that goals can be accomplished, follow these guidelines for setting your goals.

Your goals must be SMART:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Realistically High

T – Target Date or Time Bound


Example: Your goal is to save money. This is a hazy goal. You could put one dollar in a jar and that hazy goal would have been accomplished. It does not conform to the above criteria.

Instead your goal could be: Save $100 per month for the next 12 months starting (today’s date) to be complete by (target date). This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistically high, and has a target date.


Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC.

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