The Case for Setting Achievable Goals


At work and in life, it is important to have goals. Goals help to focus us, keep us moving forward. They let us know if we’re doing the right things, and doing them well.

But setting the right goals is a skill that many of us have yet to learn. When leading a team, how do you know if the goals you’re setting are the right ones? Are they too easy? Too hard? Does it matter?

While there is much debate about whether it is better to set goals that are more attainable or to use stretch goals that are often beyond the realm of possibility, no one debates the value in setting goals.

So if it is your job to set the goals for your team at work, you will need to decide how to set them.

The argument for setting achievable goals is a simple one.

First, achievable goals are realistic. There is value in hitting and outperforming your goals. It is good for team morale, as you get to celebrate strong performance, whereas stretch goals that you never achieve might leave team members feeling down or unmotivated.

Second, achievable goals help you sell yourself and your team to the rest of the organization. Whether you are working toward bonuses or promotions for yourself and your team members, trying to grow investment in your division/brand, or looking to generate positive coverage outside the company, beating your goals is better than the alternative.

Tomorrow’s post will present the case for setting stretch goals.