What is your ultimate goal? Maybe it is to get that raise, or perhaps it is to have a job that you truly love. Whether your goal is financial or career oriented, you can make it a reality with one little secret – the secret of setting S.M.A.R.T goals.

If you wish to reach your career objectives, you must learn how to set clear goals. Successful people are those people who learn who to write effective, attainable goals. Unfortunately, many people are completely unaware of how to write effective goals.

What is a goal? Technically speaking, a goal is a statement of your dream that not only specifies the desired outcome, but also the tasks that will take you to that outcome. Actionable steps and a clear objective will make goals something you can, and will, reach.

So how can you go about writing attainable goals? It starts with understanding the S.M.A.R.T. acronym. These letters stand for:

Specific – Your goal needs to be clearly defined, and it needs to contain a list of action steps that you will take to reach it.
Measurable – You must give yourself a way to measure your success. How will you know that you have reached your goal? How will you know that you are getting closer to it? Make the goal something you can measure.
Attainable – Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself, but at the same time make your goal something you can, realistically, attain at some point.
Realistic – If your goal is to lofty, you will get discouraged. Make sure it is realistically attainable using just your own efforts.
Targeted – The goal needs to point you in the right direction, carefully targeting the rewards and potential consequences

Once you have made your goals, write them down. This gives you a tangible reminder of your goals and will be place to go to jump start your success. Read your goals to yourself daily, and replace them once they are achieved. This will give you something to keep working towards, so you will remain happy and interested in your work every day.