Anyone can set goals. “I'm going to go home after I finish my work” could be a goal, but that's not going to get you anywhere. So what makes a good goal? Well, that's up for debate. But we've assembled some great reading on the topic. If you want your goals to motivate you, push you forward, improve your behavior, and help you achieve what you want, these articles are for you.
Jim Joseph didn't become a marketing master by setting fifteen small goals a year, but rather one or two simple and lofty goals per year. He makes sure that they're at least potentially attainable, but is realistic about the possibility that he won't get there in a year, and that's fine with him. It's all part of a grander learning experience for him. Find out what his goal for this year is.
Goals that are a little too ambitious can be a problem. Not achieving goals can be demotivating. But setting absurd, “impossible” goals can be a great thought exercise. For instance, investor and writer Tim Ferriss often asks questions like, “What if you had to achieve everything in your 10 year plan in the next six months?” Is that possible? Maybe, but not likely. But if you use that question as a simple thought exercise, you might be surprised with what you come up with.
Whether or not you run in HR circles, there's a good chance you've heard of setting SMART goals. If you haven't, SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. One thing that a lot of people don't talk about is the order in which you consider these things. If you want to find out how to take the SMART goal framework and flip it on its head, you're already on the right blog.
Read my piece on the TalentSpace Blog
The human brain is a strange thing, and that strangeness can get in the way of achieving our goals. Melissa Chu gets into the nitty gritty of how the brain works (don't worry, no neuroscience degrees needed), and how it tricks us into thinking only in the short term rather than taking a long look ahead at more ambitious goals and projects.
Setting goals is a balancing act. Goals too lofty that they're impossible to achieve? Pretty demotivating. Goals that are too easy to achieve? Then the goals lack meaning and don't push you forward. Luckily, there are some things you can do to strike the perfect balance.
Do you have some favorite articles, white papers, or ebooks on goal setting? Share them in the comments section below!