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Regardless of what your situation is, if you want to move forward in the future, you need to set goals. It has been said that most people aim at nothing in life and hit it with amazing accuracy. Without setting goals you’ll lack focus and direction. Goals not only allow you to take control of where you’re going, they also provide a benchmark to measure whether you’re actually getting somewhere. The key is to work smart and hard. 

Set goals that inspire you―establish a compelling “Why” 

When choosing goals for yourself, it is important that they arouse passion and enthusiasm. That means making sure they are vitally important to you, which provides a great incentive for achieving them. In the context of bad bosses, the pain of putting up with a bad boss or toxic work environment should make you feel “fed up enough” to make some changes with your situation. Without discomfort, you’ll never change things you’re still willing to tolerate. 

Begin with one or two extremely important goals. You’ll maximize the likelihood of achievement if you feel a sense of urgency with an “I must do this” attitude. We recommend the use of the SMART goal technique: 

  • S — Specific — should target a specific (clearly stated) area for improvement. 
  • M — Measurable — should have numbers or indicators to measure progress. 
  • A — Attainable — should stretch you but stay within your skill/knowledge range. 
  • R — Relevant — should be important and something you see value in achieving. 
  • T — Time Bound — should specify when the results are due, to establish urgency. 

Another easy and effective method for goal setting is represented by the acronym H.A.R.D. as detailed below: 

  • H — Heartfelt — have emotional attachment with your goals when setting them. 
  • A — Animated — imagine the positive feelings you’ll have after achieving them. 
  • R — Required — build a sense of urgency and necessity for the goals you’re setting. 
  • D — Difficult — make goals difficult and prepare to take their challenges head-on. 

One final suggestion for goals setting is to write them down, place them in visible places to remind yourself every day of what you intend to do, and tell at least one other person to create accountability for yourself. Without accountability, your success will be left to chance. 

Questions:

What is your “why” and how did you come about defining it?

What are some tools you use to set and track your goals?

What would you like to change?