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Tips for defining SMART objectives

When defining your project objectives, think SMART.

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Each objective should be:

  • Specific. Clearly defines the details of what is to be accomplished.
  • Measurable. Gauges success using either quantitative or qualitative assessments.
  • Action-oriented. Identifies concrete behaviors or processes.
  • Realistic. Can be achieved given existing constraints, such as time and resources.
  • Time-limited.  Is accomplished within a specific time frame.

 

 

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Captures your Goals Lesson Learnt

Postmortem on Progress & Lessons Learnt

Whether or not you successfully reaches your goals, it’s important to capture any lessons you learned from working on them. Once you identify these lessons, you can begin to apply them as you develop new goals or adapt existing ones.

  • If a goal was too easily achieved, make future goals more challenging.
  • If a goal took too much effort, make new goals a little easier. Break those hard to achieve goals into smaller more realistic goals.
  • If a goal was unrealistic, make sure that new goals better reflect the available time and resources.
  • If you noticed a lack of skill while pursuing a goal, make attaining those skills a goal for the future.
  • If team members lost motivation, find ways to engage them in developing new goals and continually communicate the goals’ value to your unit and organization.

When you and your team evaluate and learn from your achievements and failures, you will be more successful in pursuing future objectives. With your group, think about how you can prevent “lessons learned” from becoming “lessons lost.” To apply what you learned to your next projects, you might document your experience in a “best practices” folder in your team’s database or update your project checklist to include a revised process.

Further Action Review

Evaluating outcomes can be challenging because no one wants to be responsible for failure. The U.S. Army addressed this challenge by developing the After Action Review (AAR) in the 1970s as a judgment-free way for troops to learn from successes and failures. Since then, many organizations have used this tool for assessing goal achievement.

In an After Action Review, team members ask questions such as:

  • What were the desired outcomes?
  • What were the actual outcomes (based on facts, not opinions or judgments)?
  • What went well and why?
  • What can be improved and how?

Used regularly, this kind of review process can strengthen your team and improve outcomes. Reviews often focus on failures. Be sure to evaluate and learn from success as well.

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SMART-up Your Goals

Make Goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Time-limited

 

Goals need to be expressed very clearly.

When you explicitly state your goals from the beginning, you create a shared understanding of what you plan to accomplish and strengthen your team’s commitment to doing so.

Also, you’ll be less likely to run into disagreement in the end about whether or not you have met your targets.

Therefore, in order to ensure clarity. Use the following SMART criteria to draft clear unit and individual goals:

  • Specific. Clearly defines the details of what is to be accomplished.
  • Measurable. Gauges success using either quantitative or qualitative assessments.
  • Action-oriented. Identifies concrete behaviors or processes.
  • Realistic. Can be achieved given existing constraints, such as time and resources.
  • Time-limited. Is accomplished within a specific time frame.
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Types of goals & Its Level of Importance

As a manager or employer, you typically play a role in setting many types of goals and here is how i categories the.

Organization-focused goals

Organization-focused goals defined what will be done to bring value to the unit and organization (This goal is only worthy if they add value to the organization).

They include:

  • Unit goals: What your group as a whole will try to accomplish if you are a manager. For example, your team decides to redesign your website user interface or customer service SOP to improve your customers’ experience and make it easier to update.
  • Individual goals: How each employee will contribute to achieving the unit goals. For example, your web designer sets a goal of researching and selecting a web content management system that will save development time and make the site easy to maintain and update.

Personal development goals

To grow and find satisfaction in and out of the workplace, each individual needs to set development goals. For example, a member of your unit has a goal of becoming a manager. You suggest she set an interim goal of heading up a project team, enabling her to develop her leadership skills. Or in organizational term, try to develop and sustain a culture of ‘leader develop leaders’.

To help your team and organization be successful, advance your career, and achieve a sense of purpose, you also need to establish your own personal and professional goals.

Long-term versus short-term goals

Goals differ in terms of time frame. Short-term goals are achievable within one or two months. Long-term goals can take several months or even years to reach. Often, more immediate tasks are stepping-stones to reaching your long-term objectives. Short-term goals can also lead to rapid “small wins” that help people maintain their commitment to achieve more ambitious goals in the future.

Some goals are more important than others

We need to remember, while all these goals are important, but they are not equally important, some goals does take precedence overs others.

  • Critical goals are vital to your operation. They must be accomplished for your unit to continue running successfully. For example, a product manager for a device that is losing significant market share sets a goal of establishing better distribution channels for the product. THIS IS THE FIRST ORDER PRIORITY.
  • Enabling goals create a more desirable condition in the long run or take advantage of an opportunity. For example, members of a corporate communications department attend training on crisis management to improve their ability to respond to potential future crises. THIS IS THE 2ND ORDER PRIORITY.
  • Nice-to-have goals represent relatively minor improvements in an organization. They often make activities a little faster or easier. For example, a call center manager sets a goal of making it easier for service representatives to call back a customer on the rare occasion that a call is lost. LEAST IN THE ORDER OF PRIORITY.

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Why goals matter?

Goals  and goals settings are crucial to personal and professional success.

In contrast to New Year’s resolutions—which rarely include a plan for how to accomplish them—goals provide a sense of purpose to your activities.

Goals also make you accountable for certain outcomes. Taking accountability will drastically change how you view things and your perspective on life.

From organizational perspective, via goal setting, you and your team can decide where you want to go and what you need to do to get there.

When you work with your direct reports to design specific, challenging goals, you help them achieve high levels of performance.

In setting goals, you shall:

  • Focus on what is most important to accomplish daily, weekly, and yearly – give each of the goals its order of priorities
  • Provide a direction for your team – a clear heading in a stormy weather would make things easier
  • Prioritize your workload to focus on critical tasks – time is limited, always remember to prioritize
  • Motivate your team and boost team members’ overall job satisfaction – clear directions would give everybody a sense of purpose and fulfillment achieved by achieving those goals shall motivate your team, and also perhaps yourself.

A personal anecdote on goal setting.

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals but not others?

If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. The intuitive answer that you were born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others is really just one very small piece of the puzzle, or simply you are just wired differently, well everyone does.

In fact, decades of research on achievement suggest that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do, its always amusing to see progress once you take accountability in everything that happens in your life.

Here are four tips on how to set and achieve your goals.

First, get specific about what you want to achieve. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll get better at responding to email is too vague. Be clear and precise: “I’ll acknowledge every email within 24 hours” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

Second, decide where and when you will act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers. Again, be as specific as possible. Block out time in your calendar. For instance, you might decide that if it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, you’ll spend 30 minutes at 9:00 a.m. researching new sales leads. Studies have shown that this kind of planning will help your brain detect and seize that opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, our physical aptitudes are fixed—that no matter what we do, we won’t improve, this is our own self limiting belief, which turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves rather than developing and acquiring new skills. Try to shift your mindset to a “get better”  or “growth” mindset instead of holding yourself to impossible standards of perfection.

Finally, focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Research on thought suppression has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. For instance, if I tell you not to think about white bears, then all you’ll end up thinking about is white bears. The same holds true when it comes to behavior. By trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened instead of broken. If your goal is to overcome a bad habit, like losing your temper at work, focus on what you’ll do instead. For example, if you’re trying to gain control of your temper, you might make a plan like, “If I’m starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time, until it disappears completely.

Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.

Just as what Gary V always said,

Image result for gary vaynerchuk quotes accountability

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What is goal setting?

Key terms to pay attention to : Goal, Target, Add / create value

Goal setting is a process through which you define targets that create value for yourself, your team, or your organization. When you set goals, you commit to accomplishing certain outcomes—and make a plan for doing so.

Setting and accomplishing goals is an important personal and organizational skill. By learning how to establish clear goals, and then having the discipline to reach them, you help to instill a culture of achievement within your team and organization.

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A Note on Goal Setting

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Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals but not others?

If you are not sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. The intuitive answer that you were born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others is really just one very small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggest that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do, also some help on luck, timing and opportunities.

Here are four tips on how to set and achieve your goals.

(1) First, get specific about what you want to achieve. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll get better at responding to email is too vague. Be clear and precise: “I’ll acknowledge every email within 24 hours” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do and whether or not you’ve actually done it. It is harder to measure how you are doing if the goal are not specified, plus, specification will give you merits on which your performance are measured.

(2) Second, decide where and when you will act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers. Again, be as specific as possible. Block out time in your calendar. For instance, you might decide that if it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Saturday, you’ll spend 30 minutes at 9:00 a.m. researching new sales leads. Studies have shown that this kind of planning will help your brain detect and seize that opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

(3) Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, our physical aptitudes are fixed—that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves rather than developing and acquiring new skills. Try to shift your mindset to a “get better” mindset instead of holding yourself to impossible standards of perfection. If everything is perfect, then, there’s no room for improvement !

(4) Finally, focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Research on thought suppression has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. For instance, if I tell you not to think about white bears, then all you’ll end up thinking about is white bears. The same holds true when it comes to behavior. By trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened instead of broken. If your goal is to overcome a bad habit, like losing your temper at work, focus on what you’ll do instead. For example, if you’re trying to gain control of your temper, you might make a plan like, “If I’m starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time, until it disappears completely.

Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one.

It’s never what you are, but what you do.

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The Why and How of Goal-Setting from Islamic Perspective

Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim

When we want to motivate a friend not to give up or to work harder, it is helpful to remind them of their goals and dreams. This is because goals give a destination and a tangible standard to strive to achieve.

Goal-setting is crucial because…
1) It helps you manage your time because when you know your aim, you work purposefully and act accordingly.
2) It makes you focus and avoid distractions.
3) It brings meaning to all your efforts and this can keep you motivated.

How to set your goals
Remember that our number one goal is to please Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala; then to acheive Jannah. Make goals for your deen (religion) , for the dunya (worldly life), and then our goal for the akhirah is obviously Jannatul Firdaus bi’ithnillah Ta’ala.

For your dreams in regards to your deen, make them that which will bring you benefit in the akhirah; harvest in the dunya, and see the fruits in the akhirah insha Allah. For example, find what will bring you ajr (goodness): memorizing The Noble Qur’an, studying Islam, teaching Islam, setting up a charity, volunteering at a charity, supporting our fellow brothers and sisters, doing dakwah, setting up services or organizations to serve humanity, or specifically Muslims or the deen.

For your goals in the dunya, make sure that they are permissable and do not cloud your goals for your deen and akhirah. When setting dunya goals, consider your talents – what do you find easy and enjoyable? For example, if you like to daydream,and have a creative imagination, you could become an author and write virtuous andinspiratonal stories for children! Or, you could direct movies/episodes about Islam…so on and so forth.

It is important to know yourself and your character. It is important to know your characteristics when you decide what you want to do with your life. For example, if you spent time and energy to become a police officer, but have a soft and merciful heart, it would be wiser to dedicate your time to a more appropriate work – such as a caretaker, midwife, teacher, or counsellor.

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) created us in different ways and He made different things easy to us. So instead of resisting or trying to be someone we’re not, we should work with the talents and gifts bestowed upon us. This is not discouraging us from developing ourselves and stepping outside of our comfort zone, but rather an encouragement to pursue our unique talents.

Take Small Steps
A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step – so take small steps towards your intended destination. Before you can run, you have to walk; and before you can walk, you must crawl, before you can crawl, you must rolls.

Make sure that your goals are realistic and practical; if you have a big dream, then set smaller plans and goals within that larger dream. An easy example to illustrate this is Hifz-ul-Qur’an – to acheive this, you should plan on finding a teacher, organizing a study schedule, and timelines by which you hope to memorize Juz.

Do not underestimate yourself
Although your goals should be realistic, as should your plan or timeline to acheive them, but do not underestimate yourself. After all, with help from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), you could acheive great things. Why set your goal at being a teacher when you can dream of setting up an entire Islamic school? Why set your goal at memorizing 1 juz, when Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has made The entire Qur’an easy to remember?

Ponder this: what would you embark on, what would your goals be, if you knew you wouldn’t fail in the end? Don’t be afraid of failure – what’s the worst that can happen? You just pick up a memory and a lesson, and move forward. So, purify your intention, put it in the effort, make du’a, then trust Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will help youand support you. Even if you have roadbumps along the way, keep going bi’ithnillah – some goals might not be easy, but with hard work and the permission of Allah, they are certainly possible.

May Allah guide us to the right path and make our affairs easy, and bring us closer to that which pleases Him and will bring us success in the Hereafter. Ameen.


Muhamad Aarif is the founder & CEO of Personalgrowth.blog and Warby.Parker.Watch. He is an international watch reseller, and author dedicated to boosting personal growth and contribute to the betterment of the world we live today.