How to Set Attainable, Specific Goals

November 4, 2020
3 Min Read
Photo by
Kasia Bojanowska

According to an American Psychological Association study, high performers are more aware of the specific steps and actions that go into a project. When leaders are clear with their teams on goals, expectations, and success, it adds a better sense of direction and clarity to their work.

Reflect on how to set attainable, specific goals

Learning how to set attainable, specific goals is fundamental in developing and honing your leadership skills. Start by simply taking a moment to reflect.

How do you know if you’ve achieved your goal for a project?

Exercises to help you set attainable, specific goals

Now, it's time to put your reflection into action. Finding opportunities to implement your leadership skills can allow you to set attainable, specific goals.  

  • Clearly communicate to your team the who, what, when, where, and why of your project. Ask your team: “What do we need to accomplish? Who will need to be involved?”
  • Avoid vague buzzwords or jargon when explaining your goals. Avoid: “We want to delight and surprise our customers.” Consider: “We want to increase revenue by 20% by marketing the premium subscription to our users.”
  • Define what done means for a project. A precise measurement will keep your team on track. Example: “The goal is a 20% increase in positive customer satisfaction surveys.”
  • Be realistic when setting the expectations for your team. Every leader wants their team to be the best, but pushing your team members over the line can result in burnout and your performance dashboard dropping severely. Reasonable goals will make your team feel more comfortable and motivated.
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