Effective Goal Setting: Importance and Tips

By Anaya Shah, Account Supervisor


Why is it important to set effective goals?

Ever wondered why in football when a player scores, it’s called a “goal”? It’s because goals facilitate the big win. The first step for creating any plan is setting the goals. The goals set the foundation of the plan. They are the ultimate achievement toward which the strategies and tactics of the plan are directed. Setting effective goals helps to be prepared and make informed decisions regarding the task. In all, setting effective goals not only increases motivation, but allows measuring the progress achieved and it helps align focus and behavior.

Tips on how to set effective professional goals:

  • Research: The rule of thumb for starting any professional activity is by doing research. Research your company and research your client. Be aware of current trends in the industry before you set any goals.
  • Priorities: Be sure to know the most important aspects of your tasks while setting goals. Understanding what is necessary to achieve helps direct efforts towards exactly that goal. 
  • Obstacles: Make a list of the obstacles. This increases preparedness amongst the team. It is easier to set the goals after taking into consideration and understanding the hardships that could be faced. 
  • Team dynamics: Before setting the goals, understand the team structure clearly. Take into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of individual team members and the team as a whole.
  • Big picture: Create a vision and mission. This can clarify why each task is important and performance can be more effectively and efficiently achieved. Goals should facilitate reaching the organization’s ultimate goal, instead of creating ones that would help only for short periods. 
  • Value based: While setting goals for professional plans, it is important to take into consideration the values of the organization. They should not damage the reputation of the organization.
  • Deadlines: Plan deadlines to achieve a specific amount of success. This helps in evaluating progress on regular intervals and hence can help understand what changes need to be made and what actions need to be continued to reach the goal. 

Tips on how to set effective personal goals:

  • Worthy goals: Everyone has many aspirations from life; many things they want to achieve. The trick to set effective goals is to prioritize which are most important to achieve. It is vital to understand which goal is most important and all efforts should be effectively targeted toward that.
  • Realistic goals: “I want to gain 15 pounds in five days.” v/s “I want to gain 5 pounds in three months.” The first goal is unrealistic and almost impossible to achieve. Setting this type of goal can result in a major waste of time and effort and hence setting goals that are realistic would be more effective. 
  • Measurable goals: “I want to save money.” v/s “I want to save $5000 by the end of this year.” The first goal can’t be measured and hence it’s progress can’t be evaluated; whereas the second goal is measurable and it is easy to evaluate whether it was successfully achieved or not.
  • Specific goals: “I want to save money for buying shoes” v/s “I want to save money to buy black Jimmy Choo shoes by the end of this month.” This first type of goal is vague, with no specifications. The second type of goal has listed specific things that need to be achieved, this helps in planning the exact efforts it will take to achieve it.
  • Value based goals: When setting personal goals, it is most important to take into consideration your own personal values. This is important as while making efforts to achieve the goals, one should not be morally conflicted.  
  • Evaluation: Setting specific deadlines to evaluate goals helps effectively measure the progress achieved. It also helps you understand how much effort is still required to achieve the goal. This helps to revise the strategy and be more realistic in the action plan or the achievability of the goal. 
  • Time management: Personal goals are important, but they are not the only important thing in life.There needs to be a balance between personal and professional life and hence it is important to set goals which leave time to achieve progress in other aspects too. 
  • Motivation: Since for personal goals, progress does not need to be reported to another person, it is easy to procrastinate. Attaching a positive value for achieving each step toward the goal increases motivation to achieve personal goals.


When talent or potential are being used toward a specific goal, all the energies get channeled to bring optima; results. Goal setting is a step in the direction of where, why and how you will lead.