Getting real about goal-setting

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

There’s something about a new year that makes it feel like you’ve got a fresh start. As you settle back into work, hopefully after a restful break, it’s a good time to reflect on your goals and expectations for the year ahead. But are your goals realistic? Have you got reasonable expectations of what can be achieved or is perfectionism getting in the way?

The importance of goal setting

Whether it’s in business or in life, we achieve more by setting goals. It provides clarity about where we’re going and keeps us focused on what’s important. Setting the right goals, aims and objectives is crucial for peak performance.

Striving for progress, not perfection

It can be easy to get carried away when setting goals for yourself and others. Our future selves can achieve anything! They’re amazing! The sky’s the limit! There’s just one problem with this… if goals aren’t realistic, they actually have an adverse effect on performance. Unrealistic expectations can be hugely de-motivating, as you’re set up to fail no matter how hard you work. This can lead to unnecessary stress, conflict and negativity. Ultimately unachievable goals won’t be achieved – no kidding, right?

Now we’re not saying you shouldn’t set high standards for yourself and others. It’s important that we push ourselves to perform at our best. What we’re saying is that you need to be smart and realistic in your expectations. Perfection is not realistic, progress towards your vision is what’s important. Goals need to be SMART in order to be effective – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Setting the right goals is key to successful performance.

So where to from here?

If you’re an employer or manager now is a good time to reflect on the goals you’re setting for your organisation and people. If you need help setting the right goals or figuring out how to improve poor performance or motivation within your team, our bossed Employment Relations Managers are experts. Find out more by visiting our Employers page or contact us today.