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Setting and Achieving Your Goals

January 1 of each year is the most popular date for setting resolutions and goals, but by this time of year, most of us have at least one goal that is not on track. Now is the ideal time to reassess objectives for the year - or set them for the first time. The following tips can help you increase your success this year.

Set goals.

This is a simple statement, but it requires thought and action. You must decide what you want to accomplish; you must identify the end result. Without defining the target, you will not be able to identify the achievement of each goal.

Write them down. Keep them visible.

Recording goals on paper is an important formality. Written words are more powerful than just thinking about them, and seeing them regularly reminds us exactly of what we want to accomplish and how we plan to do it.

Use SMART goals to increase effectiveness.

The acronym SMART is a practical way to remember the necessary components of developing effective goals.

 Specific: Identify exactly what you want to accomplish. A goal of "Be better at my job" is vague and unhelpful; an appropriate target will be specific yet concise. It will explain "what".

Increase my sales forecast accuracy.

Measurable: Indicate specifically how success can be identified. This is most easily accomplished in tangible information and metrics, such as percentages and amounts. This component indicates "how much". 

Increase my monthly sales forecast accuracy by 20 percent.

Achievable: Your objective must be realistic. This component is where many New Year's resolutions fail - and where a number of business goals fall short, too. A quick SWOT analysis (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) will help ensure you are stretching but not overcommitting.

Increase my monthly sales forecast accuracy by 20 percent on an annualized basis.

Relevant: Well-written business goals cascade from higher level initiatives and values. Ensure your goal is in harmony with the organization. Be aware of how new or emerging technology could impact your goal.

Utilizing available resources (such as the company's online customer relationship management tool), increase
my monthly sales force accuracy by 20 percent on an annualized basis.

Time-Based: Be conscious of required timeframes. If you need to accomplish something by the third quarter or within the month of April, indicate the timing. If it is an ongoing goal, you still need a time checkpoint so you can accurately measure your results. 

Utilizing available resources such as the company's online customer relationship management tool, increase my monthly sales force accuracy by 20 percent on an annualized basis for the 2016 calendar year.


Formal goal setting requires a small time commitment and some effort. Writing a SMART goal gets easier with each one you complete; just think about your basic target and add details until you can satisfactorily answer every item in the SMART list. If you need help, review your goals with your mentor or your manager. He or she likely will be impressed with your effort and will want to help you achieve your best.


 Bre Chapman is Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Co-OMWI Director for FHLB Dallas.