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Goal Setting: Back to Basics

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The new year comes with lots of expectations. Consciously or unconsciously we set goals for ourselves that we hope to achieve. But whether you’ve deeply committed to a resolution or you’re still struggling to figure out what you want to achieve, anytime is a good time to get back to basics. It’s critical to evaluate what you want to achieve and why. Use these three steps to check in with yourself so you can make sure you’re staying true to who you are and who you want to become.

  1. Be specific about your goals.

You want to achieve great things. Ok, that’s a start. But that’s pretty broad. How do you define great? Is your goal to get an advanced degree, open your own business, get an A on your economics final or be the best mom you can be? We all need goals to keep us going. Having something to strive for is motivating and keeps us moving forward. But you need to be very clear about it is you’re moving towards. The more specific you can be the better your chances are for success.

  1. Be specific about why you’ve picked these goals.

What purpose do your goals serve? Achieving them means something to you. What exactly are they feeding within you? Do they play into your insecurities? Are you setting goals that are designed to make others happy but don’t really speak to what you want for yourself? How do they benefit you? We all have the friend that went to law school to please their parents or to satisfy a construct of success that they adopted but don’t really believe in. Whatever you decide to go after, be sure you’re being really honest with yourself as to why you’re doing it.

It can be painful to realize you’re doing things for the wrong reasons. But it’s even more painful to keep doing them when you know deep down that it’s not going to satisfy you.

  1. Give yourself specific timelines for accomplishing your goals.

Productivity, fulfillment and purpose don’t just come to you. You need to seek them out and be dedicated to attaining them. Hold yourself accountable by having a plan to follow. Break up your goal into the smaller actionable steps required to achieve it. Then give yourself a reasonable, but not too reasonable time-frame to complete each step. Working backwards from your target completion date is a great trick. But if you’re really ambitious take it one step further. Start from today and figure out the least amount of time each step will take you. You might just be able to achieve your goal earlier than you think! Need some extra help with goal setting? Read this.


Michele Mavi has nearly 15 years of experience as a recruiter, interview coach, and resume writer. She is Atrium Staffing’s resident career expert, as well as director of internal recruiting and content development. She also founded Angel Films, a division of Atrium Staffing focused on the creation of recruiting and training videos.

For over 20 years, Atrium has been partnering with the most in-demand brands and fashion houses in the world, placing freelance and full-time talent in jobs they love.

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