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Tips for setting goals

June 16, 2017 by Hana Woolerson

Tips for setting goals

One of the things we tend to hear over and over again from professionals and industry leaders is the importance of setting goals. This type of advice can feel both overwhelming and redundant at the same time, especially if you are flailing and don’t know where you want to be next week, let alone in five years’ time.

However, it is a good idea to stick your head up from the rubble every now and then to assess where you’ve come from and where you are heading. So, instead of giving you the vague direction of ‘take some time to set some goals’, let’s go back to basics and work out the best strategy for setting achievable and helpful goals.

You’ve probably come across the term SMART goals at one point or another, but have you tried applying the rule for some of your short term and long term goals? There are variations of what SMART stands for, but for the most part goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Specific: Make sure your goal is clear and well-defined. The clearer the goal, the more direction it provides (which is kind of the point).

Measurable:  Include precise amounts and dates so you can measure your degree of success. Don’t rob yourself of the chance to know you’ve actually achieved something!

Attainable: Don’t set yourself up to fail. At the same time, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. Think Goldilocks and strive for balance…these are the types of goals that require you to try a little harder and bring you the greatest personal satisfaction.

Relevant: Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. If this article sends you on a goal-making frenzy, keep them aligned to develop your focus.

Time-bound: Your goals need to have the dreaded ‘d-word’ – a deadline. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and you will be motivated to achieve your goal.

If you require some more help, we are here for you! We have a Goal-Setting workshop as part of our Curtin Leaders Program – keep an eye on UniHub and register for next semester’s program. Alternatively, you can do the Goal-Setting module online on Curtin Challenge. Finally, you can always set up an appointment with one of our Career Development Consultants to put together a goal-setting strategy. Drop in to Building 101, phone us on (08) 9266 7802, or email


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