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Setting SMART goals in 2024

by Hannah Graham

Setting SMART Goals for a Successful New Year

As we welcome a new year, many of us are eager to embark on a journey of self-improvement and success. However, the key to making those aspirations a reality lies in the strategic planning and execution of our goals. One effective method for goal-setting is the SMART criteria – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Let us guide you through the process of setting SMART goals, to give you the best chance of success in 2024.

1. Specific: Define clear objectives

The first step in setting SMART goals is to be specific about what you want to achieve. Vague or ambiguous goals can lead to confusion and lack of direction. Instead, clearly define your objectives. For example, rather than saying, "I want to enhance my professional skills," specify, "I will acquire advanced certifications in my field within the next six months."

2. Measurable: Quantify your progress

Make sure your goals are measurable so that you can track your progress over time. This involves establishing criteria for success and regularly assessing your advancements. If your goal is to expand your professional network, quantify the number of new connections you aim to make each month.

3. Achievable: Set realistic goals

While ambition is commendable, it's crucial to set achievable goals. Assess your resources, skills, and time constraints realistically. Setting overly ambitious goals may lead to frustration, whereas achievable goals motivate and instil confidence.

4. Relevant: Align goals with your values

Ensure that your goals are relevant and aligned with your broader objectives and values. It may be time to reconsider if your goal doesn't contribute to your professional development or career advancement. This alignment enhances your commitment and passion for achieving the goal.

5. Time-Bound: Set a deadline

To prevent procrastination, set a specific timeframe for achieving your goals. This creates a sense of urgency and helps you prioritise tasks. Whether your deadline is weekly or monthly, having a timeframe keeps you accountable.

Using this framework to set your goals for 2024 will help you succeed in achieving everything you set out to do, no matter how small. Project management tools can offer the platform you need in order to stick to your SMART goals; click here to find out what project management tools to use in 2024.