Setting SMART work goals for the New Year

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We all know the importance of setting goals so we won’t go through those basics. However, the truth is most New Year’s resolutions are usually short lived and that can be down to several factors such as not being specific enough or being unrealistic with your goals.

To avoid this from happening, you can use the SMART model. This model is a framework that can be used to set clear and defined goals. This framework can take vague New Year’s resolutions into powerful goals that can be clearly planned out.

The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-scaled.

Let’s take a look at these in more detail:

Specific

You’ll need to be as specific as possible when setting your goals. This is because a broad goal can be hard to measure and understand. When you’ve narrowed down exactly what you want to achieve, it’s easier for everything else to fall into place.
It’s as simple as answering the question: What is it exactly that you’re trying to achieve?

Good Example: I’d like to earn the title of Employee of the month.

Measurable

Your goals need to be measurable, this is important as you need to be able to measure when you’ve achieved the goal.

You’ll need to put time frames or a certain date that you’d like to have your goal achieved by.

A measurable goal can help keep your motivational levels high and keep you focussed on working towards achieving that objective.

Good Example: I’d like to earn the title of Employee of the month within the first 6 months of the New Year.

Achievable

Choose a goal that’ll require you to work hard in order to achieve it. There’s no point choosing an easy goal that won’t require something new or different from you – it won’t be as satisfying to achieve it.

Instead, pick something that you can work towards and have pride in achieving. Something that requires action on your behalf and that you can make a list of other smaller tasks you can do to achieve it.

Good Example: I’d like to earn the title of Employee of the month within the first 6 months of the New Year.

To achieve this I will;
- Show up to work on time everyday
- Have a positive attitude towards my work and peers
- Increase performance metrics on my work

Realistic

Similar to above, the goal needs to be manageable and realistic. There’s no point being overly optimistic and choosing something way out of your reach to only be disappointed when you don’t achieve it.

Unrealistic Example: I’d like to earn the title of Employee of the month in the first month of the New Year.

This is a bad example because it doesn’t give you enough time to implement any of the changes you want to make in order to win the employee of the month title. It’s not necessary un-achievable, however it’s not very realistic.

Time-scaled

Your goals should be time based, this helps you to be able to recognise when you've reached milestones along the way. It can also motivate you to keep pressing ahead.

Good example: I’d like to earn the title of Employee of the month within the first 6 months of the New Year.

To achieve this by 3 months I should’ve:
- Met or exceeded all my targets set in January with my manager
- Achieved above 80% on my satisfaction scores from my customers

By using this framework you should be able to turn your plans and ideas into goals and targets for the New Year.

Discover career opportunities with Nationwide this year. We could give you the chance to achieve your resolutions and help you improve your career.

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Have a happy New Year from Nationwide.