Do you need to stretch yourself more in terms of development? Do you wish you could achieve more? Do you sometimes feel stuck in a rut? Set yourself some personal objectives to achieve. To help you achieve them, here are the top ten tips, including the SMART model:
- Specific Make sure the objective you want to achieve is as specific as possible. It will then be easier to break down into stages. It also needs to be something you want to achieve or are interested in. For example, learn to play the piano or rearrange your manager’s email filing system.
- Measurable Once you have specified your objective, decide how to measure that you have achieved it. Sounds obvious, I know, but it is often a point that is missed. So, you could learn to play the piano with the goal of taking your first exam in six months’ time or you could rearrange your manager’s email filing system to reduce the emails in the in-box to one screen.
- Attainable Your objective must be attainable in the time you’ve allowed and within the other resources available to you. Using the above examples, it would be possible to sit your piano exam in six months but to do it in a week would not. With the email filing system, you know your manager’s capabilities, so you would design the system so the manager could use it easily – otherwise the person won’t!
- Realistic Your objective must be realistic to help you achieve it. You should also consider stretching yourself, as this will challenge you and keep you motivated. To become a proficient pianist in a year is realistic but to perform at the last night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall may be an unrealistic objective.
- Time Bound An objective needs a time limit to reinforce the urgency of taking action. Set a time limit that is realistic in relation to other tasks you have to complete.
- Jot down any barriers that you feel are obstacles to achieving your objective.
- Decide on solutions to overcome these barriers. In doing this, you may need to adjust your objective in terms of being attainable, realistic and time bound.
- Break down your objective into smaller stepping stones. Set times to achieve each of these. As you achieve each step, you will feel a sense of achievement and this will encourage you to the next stepping stone. Draw up an action plan of the stepping stones with dates to achieve each by.
- Approach positively. If you think you can, you will; if you think you can’t, you won’t! List the WIIFMs (what’s in it for me?). These are the benefits that you will gain once you have achieved your objective and they will also help you focus.
- As Nike says, JDI: Just do it! No amount of thinking and planning is any good unless you action it and immediately is best. So put your plan for success into action to achieve your personal objectives. Good luck with the piano playing and email filing system!
Judith Di-Castri is a Specialist Communications Consultant at Zee Associates (www.zee-associates.co.uk). She can be contacted on 01825 733621 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.