How to set your goals for 2021 (Part 1)
- January 8, 2021
- Growth Mindset
You may have set goals in your past that were difficult to achieve because they were too vague, aggressive or poorly framed. Working toward a poorly-crafted goal can feel daunting and unachievable. Creating SMART goals for 2021 can help solve these problems. Whether you’re setting personal or professional goals, using the SMART goal framework can establish a strong foundation for achieving success.
A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART technique. While there are plenty of variants, SMART usually stands for:
For example, instead of having “to sail around the world” as a goal, it’s more powerful to use the SMART goal “To have completed my trip around the world by December 31, 2027.” Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation has been completed beforehand!
Another example: I will earn a promotion to senior customer service representative by completing the required training modules in three months and applying for the role at the end of next quarter.
Think approach vs avoidance! Express your goals positively – “Execute this technique well” is a much better goal than “Don’t make this stupid mistake.”
When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
Keep the low-level goals that you’re working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control! In business, these reasons could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy.
In sport, they could include poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck.If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals, and draw satisfaction from them.
It’s important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, employers, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.
It’s also possible to set goals that are too difficult because you might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.
When you’ve achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress that you’ve made towards other goals.
If the goal for 2021 was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you build the self-confidence you deserve.