Personal Goal Setting

Video Transcript

Learn how to set effective personal goals.

Do you ever feel that you're lacking direction, or that you're not achieving everything that you could be? If so, you'd probably benefit from setting goals .

A goal is a clearly-defined personal objective – something that you want to achieve within a specific period of time. 

Goals are powerful motivators for developing your career. They improve self-confidence too, because you can use them to measure your achievements.

To start setting goals, brainstorm what you would like to achieve in different areas of your life, such as your career, education, family, or personal finances.

Set your large-scale goals first – these are the ones that you hope to achieve over the next 10 or 15 years. Then break these down into smaller goals, which will move you towards your lifetime goals, when you achieve them. 

Write your goals down too – they'll be no good to you in your head, where you'll likely forget about them. And don't scrimp on the details. If you set precise goals that include dates, times, and amounts, you'll be able to measure your achievement, and get a sense of satisfaction from it.

It's also useful to keep your day-to-day goals small and realistic – otherwise you won't feel that you're making progress.

An effective way to make goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic: S is for Specific; M for Measurable; A for Attainable; R for Relevant; and, T for Time-bound.

Once you've achieved a major goal, give yourself a pat on the back – then review your existing goal plan, and adapt it as you see fit.

Did you achieve that goal too easily? If so, make your next goals harder. Or if the goal took too long to achieve, make your next goals a little easier. 

Keep tweaking your plan as you work on your goals, and as you move towards your vision of your future.

Now, read the article that accompanies this video to learn more about goal setting.

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Comments (10)
  • Over a month ago Michele wrote
    Hi ester2016,

    You make a good point about setting personal goals. It is true, your personal goal may change as new opportunities come your way or when you discover that what you originally had planned for yourself has shifted. Still, it is important to have a vision of who and what you want to become. If you create interim goals along the path, you will continue to grow and develop.

    Mind Tools Team
  • Over a month ago ester2016 wrote
    Hi,sometimes,it is hard to set a large-scale goal.Even a people has set a large-scale goal,they often change by other opportunities or some unexpected cases.Especial youth,Their interest always is changing.
  • Over a month ago bigk wrote
    Hi bigboss

    What is your motivation to do programming?

    Is this because you have good math and you could use this skill with programming?
    There other ways to use math like accountancy or audit and engineering.

    However if you mean the math element is a strength and you want to quickly add extra items to your skill set then math and programming do fit together.

    Programing does need team interaction skills but if you want to fit in the team and have a manager or leader to develop your team skills or improve your own personal or team skills this will need you to use your strengths to develop these skills while doing something that interests you.

    You can develop not only your math skills but use these strengths to develop your other skills although you see these at present as a skill to be developed and not a skill that is immediately available or useable by you in a team setting.
    If this is not one of your motivations or is useable in the work setting, you might want to find a way to become confident and position your skills to improve what you feel about team work.

    A team lead might want to use your math or programming skills but will still want to find ways to use your team interaction skills and use of your valuable team member skills but will want to understand what or why you feel you feel you have no team or self interaction skills to use with the other team members.

    A team needs it's members to interact together, software development is no different although the specialist skills required to develop software might need social and interaction skills rather than just technical skills, to be useful to each other you will need to become more confident about positioning your team member skills to be able to interact with other team members.

    Remember you need to find ways to develop these skills although your main efforts might be towards developing the programming skills to do the job.

    Is there a particular issue you feel you need more development with interacting or is this a question about confidence or the positioning of your technical or social skills?
    If this is the people or team skills you want to develop further while being able to focus mostly on the technical skills needed to develop software, you will need to consider how you position these skills to the work area?

    Happy to offer more help if I can do so...

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