As you set out on your career path, you will want to set goals in order to access your progress. While this seems like an easy task, there are specific strategies around creating proper and effective goals for your career. Goals should be quantifiable as well as under your total control. Let’s explore the reasoning behind this mindset for goal setting.

The Goal Must be Quantifiable

When creating and setting your goals, make sure each is a quantifiable goal. The goal should be so clear that there can never be a question of whether it has been achieved or not. For example, a goal of attaining six new clients per quarter is quantifiable. Not only is it quantifiable, it is measurable as far as how close you are to achieving your goal.

If you fulfill five out of six contracts in a quarter, you know that you are very close to achieving your goal. On the flip side, if you only acquired one contract in a quarter, you can easily see that you are far from the goal you set for yourself. Quantifiable goals are best because they are objective and you cannot argue them. They hold you to a certain amount of accountability, which drives you to perform.

The Goal Must be in the Goal Setter’s Control

This may sound silly and obvious at first, but it is important to keep in mind when setting goals that you can only create goals around things that you have control over. For example, if you set a goal to increase the entire business’ sales by fifty percent, you will most likely be let down.

Because you cannot control the actions of other employees or outside factors such as the economy, this is not a good goal to set for yourself. Instead, create goals that you and only you can control the outcome of through hard work. Base your goals on real facts that you are able to change.

The Goal Must be Revisited Often

As with most important things in life, your goals will need constant revisiting and tweaking. Why? Because your business is constantly growing and changing and so are you. When you first created your goals, you may have been in a middle management role and now you find yourself in the C suite. This definitely calls for a revision of goals. Even if your role hasn’t changed, you still need to reassess your goals quarterly. Perhaps you have found that one goal is too easy and one is simply impossible. It is perfectly ok to alter the goals so they better reflect your state.

When creating career goals, you may be tempted to say “become a CEO,” or “grow my business by 1000%.” While these are lofty and admirable goals, they are not realistic or helpful when you are first starting out in your career. Instead, you should set goals that are quantifiable and fully under your control. After you have done so, you still need to revisit your goals frequently to ensure they are accurate and fitting.