Making SMART Goal Setting Work for Your Career

Making SMART Goal Setting Work for Your Career

January 7, 2015
Career Development

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Every January, Retail Dietitians guide and support customers in setting a fresh batch of New Year’s resolutions. We may encourage customers to use the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting process to ensure that their lifestyle-related goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. The New Year is also the perfect time for Retail Dietitians to make a fresh set of professional career resolutions. How can you apply SMART goal-setting to advance your role?

1. Start by making your goal SPECIFIC.  Write it down and keep it visible in your daily work space. Write a sentence that captures your career goal in very specific terms. Make sure your goal addresses who, what, where and when.

For example, “By the end of 2015 [when],I [who] will be working as a (full-time or part-time in-store retail dietitian, district retail dietitian supervisor, regional retail dietitian supervisor, corporate retail dietitian manager, corporate retail dietitian director, corporate retail dietitian vice president) [what] earning $###,### dollars per year in XXX state for XXX retailer [where].” 

2. Next, define how you will MEASURE. How will you measure successful achievement of your goal? What are the statements that you want to be true once you reach the determined time frame? 

-Will you supervise a specific ## of team members working in-store covering  ## of stores?
-Will you manage a specific ## of corporate RDs on your team?
-Will you launch a new project and justify # new hire(s) to work on your project team?
-Will you conduct ## of events per month in-store or in the community?
-Will you negotiate a ##% pay raise after presenting results and ROI reports to your supervisor?

3. Make each goal ATTAINABLE. It must be possible for you to achieve your goal. Make sure that your goal relates to areas that are within your locus of control. You need to be able to take responsibility to achieve it. Also, do your research. Seek advice from experienced, non-competing Retail RDs to see if your goal may be set too high, set too low or seems just right. An attainable goal should force you to stretch for it but should feel within reach. Make a list of specific things you can do as support tasks that will set you up for successful achievement of your goal.

-I will call XXXX Retail RD that I exchanged business cards with at FNCE and ask for advice about my goal.
-I will seek sponsorship from XXX VP at my retailer.
-I will submit a mentor request via the Food and Culinary Professionals (FCP) Dietary Practice 
  Group (DPG).

4. Ensure your goal is REALISTIC. Do you have the training, experience, drive, motivation and know-how to achieve your goal? If the answer is no, think about the current barriers and ways that you can break them down.

5. What is your TIME-FRAME to achieve the goal? Setting a deadline helps to focus your energies and creates a positive sense of urgency. Mark the goal’s deadline on your planning calendar. Consider also scheduling weekly or monthly appointments with yourself as check-in points along the way to review your goal and make sure you are on track for success.

If you need help setting your SMART goals for 2015, please send me an email. I’d love to hear from you!