The SMART Way To Reach Your Dreams
Between the weight of your workload and everything else competing for your time, the daily hustle can cloud your long-term vision for success. Before realizing it, you can feel overwhelmed — with no idea how you got there or how to get back on track.
In an Audigy webcast, senior human resources manager Melissa Tang and vice president of learning and development Heather Sager gave the lowdown on key steps for creating meaningful goals and making them happen. Get into these five tips, and start achieving your dreams.
1. Think Through What You Want
At Audigy we’re big on personal, professional, and financial goals, also known as “PPFs”:
It’s all about your passions. What gets you out of bed every single day? Why do you do what you do? Maybe you’re thinking of traveling or want to spend more time with family. This is where your personal goals come in.
This centers on your areas of experience and proficiency. Maybe you broke into a new field and want to get some additional experience or wish to do more in your practice. Perhaps you’re a front-office staff member wanting the training to become an audiology technician or a hearing-aid dispenser — or maybe even an audiologist.
Let’s face it: Money’s important, and personal and professional goals typically involve a financial aspect. So if you do want to go back to school or travel, it’s important to make sure you’re addressing exactly how much you’ll need to make that happen.
PPFs provide focus, motivation, and a foundation for accountability. “One of my favorite quotes is ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish,’” shared Sager, “and so often we have these moments in our lives of thinking, ‘I wish I would see my friends more,’ ‘I really want to travel more,’ or ‘I really want to read more.’ We say all these things all the time, but without actually having a plan in place, it’s just a wish.”
2. Remember The SMART Method
The decades-old SMART approach to creating goals remains tried and true. SMART stands for “specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound” — a prescription for reaching the finish line.
Want to travel more? Where and when do you want to go? How long will you stay at your destination? Flesh out the nitty-gritty details, because nonspecific goals — for example, a general pledge to travel — won’t provide enough direction for success.
“More,” alone, is not a measurement without a number attached to it. Consider “10 percent more,” for example, or “five times more than I did last year.” You need a finish line, which gets you to the celebration of having accomplished something.
Make your goals challenging but doable. Signing up to run an ultramarathon slated for next week probably isn’t realistic, but getting ready for next year’s competition could work. And creating some milestones throughout — maybe a half-marathon, for example, to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success — also makes a difference.
Creating goals that pack personal meaning can go a long way toward motivating you. Make sure the goals will enrich your life, putting that fire in your belly to ensure you’re creating the life you want.
Does your goal include a start date, a due date, and milestones to help track your progress? If you’re looking to visit Hawaii by year’s end and want to save up for it, it’s important to set milestones — $500 into the trip fund at the end of each month, for instance. Due dates along the way to the finish line keep you progressing toward the ultimate goal.
3. Spread The Word
“If you have a goal in place and share it, you’re more likely to actually achieve it,” advised Tang. “It puts that accountability on you. I know that when I’ve shared my personal, professional, and financial goals with my team, there was a little bit more of a fire under me to make sure I achieved it — otherwise it would be kind of a bummer.”
Sager, who ran in the Northwest’s Hood to Coast relay race, one of the largest in the world, agreed. “It was this idea that, once verbalized, sounded really cool, and I made it a goal. I actually had to do it, and I was very proud of it. But if I hadn’t told anyone, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
4. Check Back Often
Goals can evolve, so be sure to review them periodically — at least once a year. Quarterly is ideal, especially when you have ultimate goals every year. There’s value in being able to celebrate and check in on those milestones.
Checking in also shows you and your workplace mentor or supervisor your progress. Professional goals are often developed in tandem with a supervisor or manager because of the specific opportunities within the business that may fulfill some of your passions.
5. Count On Audigy
As an organization that helps businesses and their teams set and achieve goals every day, Audigy offers key resources including an online personal, professional, and financial goals platform for members and staff to ensure success.
It’s an effective tool that walks participants through the PPF process from a practice owner’s standpoint as well as the employee’s. They enter their personal, professional, and financial goals for the year and can monitor their progress throughout the year through a percentage measurement — a kind of progression tool.
“As an analyzer, Type-A personality,” shared Sager, “I love being able to see the percentage increase every single month of how much closer I’m getting toward that next celebration of a milestone.”
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Is a fulfilling job one of your goals? From invaluable educational externships to life-changing professional placements, you can count on Audigy.