Foliotek Blog

How to Set Measurable Goals

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Cheesy joke that doesn't make sense, right? That's the point! There is a clear difference between bikes and tigers. The same holds true for Goals and Measurable Goals. While some claim they are the same because they both focus on accomplishing a task, measurable goals take it a step further to give greater focus on how you got to the 'what'.

So how do you take an ordinary goal like 'be more organized' and turn it into one that you can measure? We first have to start at the basics; think about the specifics when planning your goal like you would when planning a road trip:

CURRENT LOCATION:
Where are you now? (What are you currently doing to meet your goal?)

DESTINATION:
What is the end result when completing your goal? (Set your final expectation before knowing how to get there!)

DIRECTIONS:
What steps can you take to get better? (These will all be measurable tasks towards completing your goal)

By creating specific, measurable tasks, you are able to keep track of your goal and easily see when you make progress. So, how do you make something measurable? Remember: don't make your goal so huge that you'll never be able to meet it. Break down your goal into manageable tiers that help you figure out different areas of your goal to focus on. In the example below, we've split the overall goal of 'be more organized' down to mean an organized desk, inbox, and notes.

Next list tasks that you can do to make that specific area of your goal successful and include a number in each task. By including a number, you force yourself to measure the task in some way (red text in the example below). For example, you know you're taking steps to meet your goal when you spend three minutes each day putting supplies where they are supposed to go on your desk.

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By doing this, you are setting yourself up for success in meeting your goals! Once you get in the habit of meeting your daily tasks, you can create new tasks that help you continue to meet your goal or even create a new goal to work on.

As I mentioned in the How to Take Initiative blog post, "Change can take time, and even though your colleagues or employer may not notice a change, take encouragement in knowing that you are working behind-the-scenes to improve yourself!"

What goal will you work on first?


Lessons from My Part-Time Job

Warning: Lessons from a part-time job during college used to acquire a full-time “adult” job can lead to job advancement, insurance benefits, consistent scheduling, and stable income. Proceed with caution.

I used to dread telling my peers where I worked while I was getting my degree. There is something rather lackluster about being a part-time employee at an indoor playground while in college. It felt like everyone else had locked down internships in their fields, and there I was working what many people considered a “high school students” job. I’d spend my afternoons and weekends singing ‘Happy Birthday’ on repeat, cutting (eating) cake, locating lost parents, cleaning up various bodily fluids (too much info?), giving away prizes, and I couldn’t help but wonder ...

“How can I possibly turn this into relatable work experience in the future?”

Part-time jobs are generally temporary and should be used as a stepping stone to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Despite how “unprofessional” your job may seem to others, if you look hard enough, there are lessons for you to learn that any potential employer will recognize and identify with in their own experiences.

Lesson 1: Communication Skills

You’ll develop essential teamwork skills and invaluable communication experience with people from all different walks of life whether it be customers (or their kids!), fellow staff members, or managers. Many part-time jobs take place in fast-paced environments requiring individuals to step out of their shells and communicate effectively to get the task completed in a timely manner (or else face the consequences of unhappy customers).

Lesson 2: Time Management

This is one of the most valuable skills you can possess as a student and future working professional. This will come from a phase of trial and error. Some days, you’ll oversleep and run into work just barely on time without realizing your socks don’t match. Other days, you will have had time to make the bed, fix breakfast, enjoy a nice cup of coffee, walk the dog, and still get to work 15 minutes early. Despite those rough days, you’ll get a sense of how long your daily routine takes and learn to allot enough time in the future.

Lesson 3: Handling Stressful Situations

This will look different for everyone depending on what your part-time job entails. For me, this was the entire computer system shutting down on a rainy Saturday (prime weather for the indoor playground business). The computer system controls literally everything in the building from all monetary transactions to the arcade games. Now, I could have chosen to freak out. Instead, I handled the situation with grace and clarity. I provided the customers with necessary updates while using alternative methods for transactions which allowed us to avoid the potential uproar.

Regardless of how you earned your work experience, take solace in knowing that you learned valuable lessons in the process. And when the interviewer asks you to discuss your resume and job experience, answer with confidence because you got this!