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Tips for defining goals in a way that helps put plans into action

Taking the time to carefully choose your goals and writing those goals down will help you to reach them quickly. Goal setting can be quite the challenge but well worth it. There are five basic steps in goal setting:

  1. Identify your goals. Select goals that are measurable, and important to you and your future. Be realistic when setting goals for yourself. Write down your goals, make sure your writing is legible.
  2. For each goal, identify any specific steps or obstacles. Write down obstacles and actions that need to be taken to accomplish the goal. Step by step actions may need to be taken to overcome obstacles. Write down the actions you plan to take to accomplish the goal.
  3. Make the goal measurable. Clearly identify performance indicators that will be used to track the goal's progress.
  4. Responsibility should be assigned to a specific department or staff member for each goal. The assigned department or staff member will be responsible for the success of the goal.
  5. Monitor the success of each goal by creating a tracking system. Create a tracking system that includes measures, dates and names of the person or group that is responsible for the success of each goal.

Tips for setting goals:

  • Set aside some time to set goals. Goal setting can be difficult but the time you invest in your goal setting strategy will accelerate performance.

  • Now is the time to set goals. Do not wait around for New Years to set goals. Start setting goals today.

  • Write goals down on paper. You will want to reinforce your commitment to achieving your goals by not only keeping them in your head but also by writing them down so they will not be forgotten or overlooked.

  • It is worth it to plan for your future. Long term goals and planning can be time consuming and difficult but the future is well worth the effort.

  • To achieve your goals, action is required. A good plan is not the only thing needed to be successful. A good plan plus action equals success.

  • Working hard is important in achieving goals but working smart is mandatory. Look for new solutions and ways to reach your goals.

  • Success requires cooperation and help from others. Nobody does it entirely alone, but you must learn to help yourself in order to achieve more.

  • Review goals on regular basis, not just once a year. Change and reshape goals if needed.

As a manager or leader setting goals is not your only responsibility. Leading and guiding your team is priority and setting goals plays a big part. Effective leadership requires a lot of hard work and determination. Avoid making these kind of mistakes, often made by managers:

  1. Not setting a good example: As a leader, your employee's look to you for guidance. So, be sure to conduct yourself in an appropriate, professional manner at all times.

  2. Barking out orders, instead of suggestion: Instead of just telling your staff what to do and how to do it, offer suggestionsand encourage them to express their own ideas on how to best approach their work. You do not have act like a drill sergeant to be an effective leader.

  3. Only focusing on mistakes rather than on the positive: Mistakes will be made instead of just pointing them out, offer suggestions and guidance to help your employee's correct them. Don't overlook the positives. Be sure to give your people recognition for their efforts and good work.

And above all, respect your employee's. If you do not show your people respect, they will not show you respect.

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