Instead set out a strategic plan that identifies what you want to accomplish in your work, while taking care to outline the key objectives and milestones that will get you to your strategic goals. By doing this, you are plotting a course to your success.
Let's take a look at the key elements that should go into your goal-setting:
Be specific. You need to write down a very precise, exact goal that you want to accomplish; do not settle for a vague idea. Make sure to concisely describe the objective you want to attain, and try to attach some form of measurable "metric" that you can use to clearly quantify your success. Examples would include, "I want to increase my sales volume by 20 percent over the next three months," or "I plan to develop 20 new prospects in the Southeastern territory by April."
Set ambitious goals. It's one thing to set a timid goal that you know you can accomplish, but if you truly want to grow, you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Set something audacious. By setting something aggressive and not easy to achieve, you will push your personal and professional growth. Tough goals force you to strive and dedicate yourself to accomplishing them. This isn't to say you should be unrealistic, but don't be afraid to be a little uncomfortable.
Set firm, thoughtful deadlines for your goals. When it comes to being specific about your goals, make sure that you carefully consider the timeline required to get you to your goal. Whatever deadline you set must be written at the same time, but you want to balance your ambition with some realism. Think of the milestones that will get you to your goal and how long they will take. Just make sure to resist the temptation to pad your timeline.
Commit yourself. All your careful advance work of setting up specific, ambitious, thoughtful goals will go out the window if you do not truly take your goals to heart and commit yourself to accomplishing them. Harness that ambition you used when outlining your goals and leverage it to drive the process. Don't let stumbling blocks undermine your commitment. Instead, constantly remind yourself of how you will enjoy or benefit from the payoff of accomplishing your goal.
Finally, make goal-setting a regular exercise. Set a regular schedule for outlining your next set of strategic goals, and you will put yourself on a trajectory for constant achievement.