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Why you should set goals

There are several reasons why it is important to set goals in life, in fact this is true both for one’s personal as well as professional life albeit the goals will naturally differ depending on the context in which the goals exist. Research confirms that the process of setting goals is a highly efficient way for everyone to ensure they focus on what is important, and that the goal itself, once formulated, helps us to stay on course to achieve what we have set out to do by enabling us to avoid getting sidetracked by less relevant matters which might otherwise steal our attention away. Expressed differently, setting goals enables us to keep focused on where we stand currently and where we want to be in the future.

Goals can relate to more or less anything, whether in our personal or professional life, and include things such as learning a new language or reaching a specific sales target. However, as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry fittingly put it, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. What this means is that for goal-setting and the ensuing efforts to achieve our ambition to really work, it is important that we can evaluate the work we have put in to assess the progress we are making. As part of the process of defining a goal, we need to also establish a clear deadline and identify certain appropriate dimensions along which we can measure the progress we are making towards the goal. Thus, if our ambition is to learn a new language, this ambition could be stated as:

  • I want to learn French as a second language, and as a measure of my progress I shall be able to hold a conversation about the weather in French in six months’ time

Similarly, a goal relating to our professional life might be:

  • I want to increase my company’s market share, and as a measure of my progress I shall secure $10,000 of new business sales before the end of the current quarter

Check out Pembio for a ready-to-use tool that helps you and your team implement a structured goal setting process.

By: Johan Flodgren

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