Goal setting is an integral part of our professional and personal life. We may not actively be setting goals for self and others, but we do it nonetheless. Therefore if you wish to know how to set goals for anyone, whether self or others these techniques will help you a lot in achieving your goals if you follow the given methods.

Stop for a moment and imagine that you are preparing for a car trip. There are very few people who can hop in a car and just take off. Instead, you must first choose a destination so that you will know when you have arrived. Then, you must decide on what roads you need to take to get to your destination.

You will need to know a rough estimate of the miles that you will cover, so that you can budget accordingly for the trip. Taking care of all the little details before you leave home ensures that your trip is successful.

You can employ the SMART and/or the CLEAR methods to help you in your goal setting

What is the SMART method for goal setting?

The SMART system has been considered the best-practice framework for setting goals. It is often used by employers during performance reviews and to allow the employee to know exactly what is required for achieving success. However it can be used in any other situation do goal setting for self and others.


Your goals must be clear and unambiguous. This is to make sure you know exactly what you are wanting to accomplish. Returning to the idea of a car trip, if you do not know where you are going it is impossible to determine if you have reached your destination.


Your results need to be able to be measured in some way. If you are using this method to get a promotion, you might use the number of products sold each week or a completion percentage. If you are using this method for physical fitness, you may use the number of pounds you can bench press or the number of blocks or miles you can walk, run or bike.

Just remember that if you can’t measure something you can never manage that thing.


Your goals must be realistic, not just to you but to others as well. If it seems unattainable to others you may not receive the support you need or deserve. If it seems unattainable to you, you may feel discouraged and give up.

Researchers know that people are much more motivated to work on goals that they actually see as achievable, so do not frustrate yourself by choosing goals that are not achievable.


Your goals should relate to what you are using that list of goals for. If it is for your career, your list of goals should reflect that relevance. For example, a writer wouldn’t set a goal of baking 1000 cupcakes by 3pm if it is 9am.

While a writer can bake, it would take a professional baker to create 1000 cupcakes in six hours. A more relevant goal for the writer would be to write 1000 words per hour. In order to determine if a goal is relevant, ask yourself these questions: Is it in your control to achieve it? Can it be realistic for you to achieve?

Does it appear worthwhile? Is it the right time for this change to be implemented? Do you have the skills necessary to achieve this goal?

When asking these questions, if you get a “no” response, then you need to back up and examine the earlier steps to create a more relevant goal.


You should have definite beginning and ending points for each goal on your list. Each goal should have a fixed duration so that you don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is the mortal enemy of success.

With the SMART method, relevancy will be the step that takes the most time to determine. This is because of the amount of adjusting of goals you will need to do in order to be able to answer ‘yes’ to every single question you ask about whether or not the goal is relevant.

If some of the requirements of a specific goal are outside of your control, it is less likely that you will actually achieve that goal. If some portion of the goal is outside of your control, you may need to back up and acquire those resources first.

Sometimes, it is simply a case of saving up money, which may be your first step in achieving the goal, but at other times, it may be positioning yourself to share the idea with someone in power or moving to a new company where your goals will be embraced. Some goals seem realistic but when you really begin looking at the particulars that will be required to reach that goal, realism often goes out the window which will ultimately make that goal unattainable and therefore irrelevant.

People are much more motivated to work on goals that seem worthwhile. This varies by the individual, so what is worthwhile for one person to work on may be totally irrelevant to another. There are many worthwhile goals, but if the time is not right, then the goal may need to be saved until later. Your goal may be very worthwhile, but if your timing is not right, then you are doomed to f ailure.

Everyone has their own skills. Therefore, before embarking on any goal, it is important that you choose goals that match up with your skills. You may have a great idea for an awesome painting, but if you have no painting skill, then you will probably not turn out a masterpiece.

Make sure that your goal is timely. People are much more motivated to work on a goal with a deadline. If you say that ‘someday’ you will achieve your goal, then that someday will never arrive. Instead, set a deadline on your goal and mark it on a calendar where you will see it on a regular basis.

What is the CLEAR method for goal setting?

The CLEAR method is very similar to the SMART method for goal setting but with a slight difference in how the list is created.

This method is a newer one compared to the SMART method which was developed in 1981. keeping up with the faster-paced, more mobile and dynamic businesses of the 21st century.


• Collaborative.

Your goals should encourage everyone involved to work together. Even if you are a team of one, you still have your support system to cheer you on to the finish line.

Ask for suggestions on how they, your supporters or your co-workers, would frame the goals on your list but make sure you are making the final decisions on what those goals will be. This way, your support system or other team members will know exactly what will be accomplished.

• Limited.

Each goal should be limited in both scope, what is to be done during that step, and duration, how long it will take. There may or may not be follow up action to the goal. The key here is limited in score and should not reflect an infinite loop.

• Emotional.

Your goals should tap into your team’s energy and passion so that you can make an emotional connection to them.

The more passionate you and your supporters or team members are about something, the more likely that goal will be accomplished.

• Appreciable.

Large goals should be broken down into smaller goals. This is so that each goal can be accomplished quickly and easily. Doing so allows for long-term gain and raises enthusiasm as goals are accomplished and able to be checked off the list.

• Refinable.

You want to set goals with a steadfast objective. However, as new situations and information arise you need to give yourself permission to modify and refine those goals as you go. If you fail to refine your goals you risk the chance that a goal will be unreachable.

Achieving the goals you set during your goal setting- Role of communication

Now, that you have set your goals, you have positioned yourself to communicate your goals with others. Look at the first goals that you have created, and ask yourself what information you need to communicate to achieve those goals. Read our ultimate guide to effective communication to further build on the skills

Plan those communications ahead of time to ensure that they are easy to understand. Choose the right style to communicate in since some messages are much easier to communicate in person where you can judge the other person’s non-verbal clues.

Other messages can easily be communicated with a phone call, as it still provides a chance for you to judge the other person’s reaction though their tone of voice, without having to plan a meeting that you can both attend at the same place.

Still other messages can easily be communicated via email where the other person can attend to it at their convenience though you should be aware that misunderstanding can still occur if you have not written your email out clearly.

Role of organized communication

Make sure that your communication is organized. It is usually a good idea for you make a list of the key points that you want to communicate as they relate to your goals.

Making a list of these goals before you start to communicate is a great way to make sure that your communication stays on point and does not stray too far from accomplishing your goal.

When you wrote essays in high school, your teacher taught you to write great topic sentences to start the essay. The same principle applies when you are setting out to communicate about your goal. This sentence should tell the reader or listener why you are communicating with them.

It should prepare the reader or listener to pay attention to what you are trying to communicate by using thought-provoking words. Additionally, this topic sentence should grab the listener’s or reader’s attention, so that they are prepared to hear the message that you need to communicate.

Some suggestions

All communication should be limited to the most important points that you need to communicate to meet your first objective.

Try to limit your communication to no more than three main points. This helps to keep your communication short enough that others are prepared to listen. It also helps to ensure that you are staying on the first steps of meeting your goals. Finally, it ensures that you are staying on task and not allowing the communication to wander which respects your time and the time of the other person.

Final Words

Goal setting is the best start you can give to whatever you want to achieve. After you have determined those objectives, then it is key to break those goals down into shorter term goals. Once you have set your goals, put them in order.

This allows you to know who and in what order you need to be communicating. After you have determined this vital information, then start communicating your plan in a way that is appropriate to the content that you need to deliver, that is organized, and that is limited to the information that you need at that time.

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