Goal Setting 101

It doesn’t matter if you are a student, a new professional or a workplace veteran who had been working for the past 20 years; knowing how to set goals is a skill everyone should have.  Goals help you organize your time and allow you to measure what you have accomplished.  If you already do set goals, it’s a good idea from time to time to brush up on your skills and see if there is anything you can do to help make your goal setting even better.

Here are a few ideas you can use to get started with setting goals and refresh your current strategy:

Main Goals

You can set yearly, quarterly and even monthly goals.  When setting goals you need to decide what your major goals are going to be—and when you need to meet them.  Once you have outlined these goals you can “dig deeper” into the actual planning of how you are going to attain them.


As stated above, you have to set a firm timeline for your goals.  Do you have yearly goals you want to attain such as by the end of your senior year of college you are going to have a full time job?  Or if you just started your career, after a year at your first job you want to get promoted?  Monthly goals could be more narrowed down such as you will send out X amount of resumes if you are job hunting.  Both goals are great, and you have to set sub-goals to help you reach your main goals, which we will be getting into next.


To me, sub-goals are almost more important than your main goal.  Main goals are more open ended and can take a while to accomplish i.e. a year.  The only way you can reach those goals is to realize the actions needed on a daily/weekly basis to reach them.  If you go back to the example of sending out X amount of resumes in a month, your goals and sub-goals could be as follows:

•    Main Goal: Sending out 50 resumes in a month
•    Sub-goals: Send out 10 resumes a week/ 2 resumes a day

Sending out 50 goals might seem like a lot, but when you break it down to just 2 resumes a day, you could easily do that.  Setting realistic goals is also a must, which brings me to another point.


I ran across the acronym SMART on the Goal Setting Guide.  It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  When setting your goals, make sure they fit into this formula.  If you can’t break down your main goal into something that is SMART then you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how you can make these goals SMART.

Shannon Suetos is an expert writer on telemarketing companies based in San Diego, California.  She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as telemarketing at Resource Nation.

Image Credit: personal-development-planet.com, Offers a Free Goal Setting Workbook