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Keys to Effective Goal Setting

Goals for building a innovative team

Where do you see yourself in five years? What do you want to accomplish by the end of the day? What steps will you take in order to get to where you want to be in life? If these questions seem daunting to you, then you’re not alone.

If you want to be successful in life, you’ve got to set goals. The problem a lot of people face is not knowing how to do so.  In this article, I will outline some key steps you should take in order to effectively define goals.

The first step you should take when setting goals, is to make certain the goals you set are important.  If you set goals that you don’t care about achieving, the chances of accomplishing them are minimal. Therefore, in order to ensure you are setting meaningful goals, you need to ask yourself why they are important to me. In doing so, you can eliminate those that are not important and focus on the ones that truly matter.

The second step you should take when setting goals is to set SMART goals. These are goals that are:






  • Specific goals provide detailed direction or outcomes. In order to get where you want to go, you need to define where you want to end up.
  • Measurable goals provide specific, quantified results or outcomes. For example, reduce or improve turnaround time from 3 days to 1 day.
  • Attainable goals are those that are possible to achieve. Don’t set goals that are too lofty, or goals that are too easy. Make certain your goals are realistic yet challenging. That way, when you accomplish your goals, you will feel a sense of personal satisfaction.
  • Relevant goals are aligned with the direction you want your life and career to take. Don’t set goals that are unimportant or you’ll waste your time.
  • Time-sensitive goals are bound by deadlines. When working towards a deadline, you’ll have a sense of urgency and will work much faster to achieve your goal.
Alison Martin

Written by

Alison Martin is the Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Diverse Talent Strategies, a family of brands offering turn-key solutions for mentoring, women’s leadership initiatives, and recruitment. With roughly 15 years in nonprofit work, Alison has a passion for doing work that makes a difference in the lives of others. After serving as Executive Director at two different national nonprofit organizations, her commitment to her passion for developing female talent led her launch Mentoring Women’s Network. In her role, Alison acts as a liaison to a national committee responsible for the leadership development content for the organization and consults with corporations on the development and strategy aligned with initiatives for emerging female leaders. She is also the author of the book, “Landing on My Feet: Learning to Lead Through Mentoring” and speaks regularly on behalf of the organization

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