Annual goal setting was one of those tasks I dreaded every January at work. I found it stressful to have to plan my entire year’s worth of work and know I was going to be judged on how I accomplished those goals by the end of the year.

I usually felt like I was writing my goals to please someone else. They weren’t always what I would personally like to achieve, but more what I knew the company or my manager wanted me to achieve.

As much as I disliked goal setting at work, now that I’m a stay-at-home mom and don’t have any reason to do it, I still find myself wanting to set goals. I even bought a shiny new planner this year and I’m excited to start planning my tasks and activities each week and set weekly, monthly and annual goals for myself.

I finally get it. Goal setting is important because it gives you something to work towards and accomplish. I love being able to check items off my list once I’ve completed them.

When I was working my goals looked something like this: Update type curves for the business plan by Q2 2018, but now my goals look more like this: Teach baby girl to speak at least 1 sentence and teach my son to write his name by Q2 2018.

Whether for work or my personal life, I always make sure to follow the golden rule of goal setting: make them SMART. This type of goal setting is encouraged in most organizations around the globe, but if you haven’t heard it before it stands for S-specific, M-measurable, A-achievable , R-realistic, and T-time-bound.

Writing SMART goals makes them trackable. If your goal is set properly, you will be able to clearly measure if you achieved your goal by year end. For example, if I had a SMART goal that said Update type curves for the business plan by Q2 2018, at the end of the year during my performance review I would be able to provide actual evidence that I did achieve the goal by showing my manager the updated type curves that were completed and approved by June 15 (before the end of Q2), and show how they were used in the business plan.

For 2018, I’m setting goals in my personal life as a stay-at-home mom, and also for the Engineering Emily blog.

Here are my 2018 Goals for Engineering Emily:

  • Publish one blog post per week/at least 50 posts in 2018
    • Post one STEM for Kids activity per month/12 total in 2018
    • Post one Women in Engineering Interview Series interview per month/12 total in 2018
  • Encourage more reader engagement by increasing social media posts and presence
    • Post on Facebook and/or Instagram at least once per week/50 total posts in 2018
    • Add 5 new pins on Pinterest per week/250 new pins in 2018

Do you like goal setting? Does it help keep you focused and on track? Do you set goals for your personal life or only at work?

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