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If you want something from life or your career, you have to go after it; nobody will hand you anything, right? And it’s admirable to have aspirational goals, something to propel you forward in both life and career. On the flip side of that, one of the primary reasons people don’t reach their goals stems from attempting something too lofty or out of reach. And then it’s the fall of Icarus: They fly too high and fall hard. How can you find a good balance? Make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

  • Specific. When you set too broad a goal, you have a much more difficult time pinning it down, and it feels overwhelming because you’ve given yourself little direction. Rather than “exercise regularly,” you may want to make your goal “exercise for 30 minutes, four times a week.” Then you have numbers to work with and fit into your schedule.
  • Measurable. Similarly to the specific goals, you should give yourself dates and amounts so you know when you’ve met your goal. If your goal centers on reading more often, you may want to make a measurable goal to read one book a month. So at the end of each month you can look back and check that off your list.
  • Attainable. You have to set a goal you can actually realize. Again, it’s great to set challenges for yourself, but make them ones you can actually meet. If you’ve never run before and have a busy work schedule, you probably won’t have the time or stamina to make it to that half-marathon next month. But you could probably aim for one six months from now.
  • Relevant. If you don’t care, you won’t go after it. Make sure your goals align with what you want for yourself, not what somebody else might want for you. And if you make them relevant to your life, you’ll focus on them and make them a part of who you want to become.
  • Time-Bound. Make sure those goals have some sort of finish line to cross; that feeling of achieving a goal by the date set will give you an incredibly positive boost and the knowledge you can do it again for a different goal in the future. Deadlines help us stay on top of things, as well – if you want to save money for a trip next March, you know you have to start saving now to make it a viable option.

Achieving goals is difficult and time-consuming, and when done using these criteria, often life-changing. What SMART goals can you set for your personal or professional life? Reach out to the expert staffing team at Medical Professionals today.


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