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Published on March 19, 2020

How Goals Performance Review Can Help You Succeed More

How Goals Performance Review Can Help You Succeed More

Setting and achieving goals can be an interesting adventure on your journey to success if you form the habit of tracking and reviewing your performance on the goals you have set. To achieve this, you can carry out a periodic or end-of-cycle goals performance review to know how well you are progressing.

In this article, you will find useful tips on how to carry out a goals performance review and important steps to take on the outcome of your reviews.

What Is a Goals Performance Review?

A goals performance review is an intentional and planned activity carried out to measure your productivity based on your set goals. The real essence of this review is to identify what is going right, what is going wrong, and to set future goals.[1]

Taking a periodic review of your goals is an indicator that you are serious about achieving them, and this can actually be a source of motivation to achieve your goals.

Benefits of a Goals Performance Review

There are countless benefits associated with measuring your performance and progress on your goals. You will find some of them below.

Keep Track of Your Goals

It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus if you do not create a plan to follow through with your goals. This won’t happen when you have a plan in place such as a performance review. The review will even be more significant when you have many goals to track, such as financial goals, career goals, family goals, health goals, etc.

Measure Your Performance

A scheduled review will help you to evaluate yourself and see how you are performing with your goals. Many times, the information you gather from this evaluation can help you sit tight or push you to do more to accomplish your goals.

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Identify Necessary Adjustments

A goals performance review can show you what is working and what is not in your efforts to achieve your goals. Therefore, you might find from your evaluation that you need to make certain adjustments in order to accomplish your goals.

Achieve All-Around Success

Without deliberate reviews, there is a tendency to perform well in one area while other areas suffer. A periodic goals performance review can help you live a balanced life as you keep track of all of your goals and make sure you are not falling short in any area.

How to Carry out a Goals Performance Review

Carrying out an effective goals performance review begins with setting your goals correctly. Be clear about your expectations and results. When you set S.M.A.R.T Goals, it will be much easier for you to track, measure, and evaluate them.

There are no hard and fast rules for carrying out a goals performance review. It all depends on the kind of goals and the time you attach to your goals. However, as a guide, here are some ways you can review your goals:

Based on End Results

Some goals are “end goals,” and the only way to review them is by whether they turn out as a hit or miss. For example, setting a goal to land a particular job or making the cut-off point in a professional exam can be a hit or miss.

However, when you have a couple of goals in different areas, your performance review can include looking at how many of your end goals you have been able to achieve versus the ones you couldn’t achieve. You will be able to judge whether you are generally making progress or not.

Based on Milestones and Timelines

For effective goal setting and tracking, it is usually advised that when setting your goals, you should break them down into smaller units so that you can measure your performance throughout and also get motivated when you accomplish those smaller goals. The milestones will help you to know if you are moving closer to accomplishing your bigger goals or not. Below are some examples of this kind of review.

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Building a Home

If you plan on building your own home within the next three years, for example, securing a landed property and getting your building plan approved by the government in the first year are significant milestones towards your building goal.

Losing Weight

If you plan to lose 80 pounds in one year, and your milestone is set at 20 pounds in three months, carrying out a quarterly review of your weight apart from checking the scales weekly can give you a picture of your weight loss journey.

Career Advancement

If you set a goal to become a CEO in 5 to 8 years from your current level as a mid-level manager, having a rising portfolio every two to three years is a notable milestones in accomplishing your goal.

Retirement

Another example is planning to retire at 50, meaning that you want to be financially secure at 50. If you are currently 35, your investment portfolio review can be set to every 3 years to know how close or far you are from your goal. You would have carried out this review at least four times before your planned retirement.

What a Goals Performance Review Reveals

Your review can show you different things about your goals and yourself, including:

  • That you have achieved your goals
  • That you failed to achieve your goals
  • That you are on course to achieving your goals
  • That at the rate you are going, you might not achieve your goals

Whatever it is that your review reveals, there is always something to be done to improve the situation.

What to Do When You Fall Short of Your Goals

When you fall short of your goals, there are several things you can do to get yourself back on track.

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Review Possible Reasons for Failure

If it is an end goal, then you might want to ask questions about why the goal failed. Is it that you didn’t put in the required work, planning, diligence, or follow-up? Or were there simply factors outside of your control?

Generate Ideas to Mitigate the Problems Now or in the Future

If you are able to trace what is responsible for the failure, then brainstorm possible ways to mitigate such problems so that they won’t be an hindrance to achieving your goal in the future.

Get Motivated

If you are still within your set time limit but are running out of time, what you need is motivation and a positive attitude. You don’t have to give up on your goals, irrespective of what the results currently look like.

Change Your Goal Post

Changing your goal post might mean extending the deadline if possible, reducing your goal projection to a smaller manageable scale, or doing something different.

What to Do When You Are Reaching Your Goals

It’s okay to celebrate the achievement of your goals, but it’s also not quite time to relax. You can do the following when you are hitting your goals.

Raise the Bar

It is better to set hard-to-reach goals than to set ones that you can reach without much sweat. So when you hit your goal, you should raise the bar.

For example, if you set a goal to read two books in a month, and you’ve been consistent with your goal for about 4 to 6 months, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to set another goal. Increase the books from 2 to 3, and you’ll have more books and knowledge added to your archive in a year.

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Improve the Quality of Your Outputs

When you are hitting your goals, you can also increase the quality of your outputs. For example, if you set performance goals like meeting deadlines, you won’t just stop at meeting the deadlines, but you will also ensure that the quality of your work deliverables is top-notch.

Dream Bigger and Set New Goals

Reaching your goals and hitting your targets too often might be an indication that you are not dreaming big enough or that you have outgrown the kinds of goals you are setting. It is time to start thinking differently and create a new set of goals that will stretch your abilities.

Bottom Line

There is always something to learn from an honest goals performance review. It is important to note that doing well with your goals does not mean that you have given your best, and falling short of your goals does not mean you are not doing enough.

Regardless of the outcomes of your review, you will always find an opportunity to do something better: to change your strategy or approach, to aim for something higher (or lower), or to set a brand new set of goals.

More Tips on Measuring Your Goals

Featured photo credit: Isaac Smith via unsplash.com

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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  • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
  • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
  • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
  • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

For Changing a Job

  1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
  2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
  3. Get a raise.
  4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
  5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
  6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
  7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
  8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
  9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
  10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

For Switching Career Path

  1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
  2. Find a mentor.
  3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
  4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
  5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
  6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
  7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
  8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
  9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
  10. Create a financial plan.

For Getting a Promotion

  1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
  2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
  3. Become a mentor.
  4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
  5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
  6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
  7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
  8. Become a better communicator.
  9. Find new ways to be a team player.
  10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

For Acing a Job Interview

  1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
  2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
  3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
  4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
  5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
  6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
  7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
  8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
  9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
  10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

Career Goal Setting FAQs

I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

4. Can I have several career goals?

It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

Summary

You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

  • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
  • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
  • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
  • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
  • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

More Tips About Setting Work Goals

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

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