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Setting Goals for MBA Success

Business & MBA Editor
Tammie Cagle is a writer, editor, entrepreneur, and certified academic life coach. Tammie received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M University-College Station and her MBA from Marylhurst University.

How are your goals setting you up for success in your MBA and career?

We all have different goals and different priorities when we discuss our life and career. But goals are important. Think of them as your focus. 

One time, I was trying to learn how to do a Crow Pose in Yoga. You start by crouching with your hands on the ground. Then, you try to balance with your knees up on your elbows. I was telling a friend that I was trying this pose. They decided to give it a try as well. They told me that they kept falling. Then, I remembered an essential tip. 

The key is where you are looking

You need to fix your eyes on a spot in front of you to keep your balance in the moment, making sure you are not looking down. The next time they tried the pose while keeping their eyes focused in front, success!

Where are your eyes fixed? What is your focus?

One way to hone your focus is to set goals.

And don’t get bogged down with the shoulds. I should be making more money. I should study every evening. 

When you are making your goals, they need to come from an authentic part of you.

Goals can be tricky. Someone might set a goal to become a millionaire. But that is actually a very vague goal and one that is hard to get motivated about. Why? Because the best goals are SMART

That’s right. They must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive. 

While a goal to become a millionaire might be specific and measurable, depending on who you are, it doesn’t necessarily jive with the last part of the SMART objectives.

A SMART goal might look more like this: I want to close 10 contracts by the end of the month.

What is great about SMART goals, is that they make it easy to build habits to support your goals. If you want to close 10 contracts by the end of the month, how many calls do you need to make each week? How many hours do you need to work? How much sleep do you need? What food or exercise do you need to energize you for the work you want to do?

If you need to finish your capstone project in your MBA by the fourth week of your course, let’s make some SMART goals. When can you write your outline and main idea of your project? How much do you need to have written by the end of the week?

But here is the key!

When you reach your deadline, it is critical to assess how it went. No Matter What! Be sure to complete this step!

Go into this part of the process without judgment and with the intent to collect some essential data.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Did I reach my goal?
  • How did the process feel?
  • What went well?
  • What did not go well?
  • Did this process bring me closer to where I want to be in my personal and professional life?
  • What can I do differently?

You can use this information to help you move forward and set your next goal.

Now is the time to set some goals. Are there two goals that come to mind? What habits can you build in your day and week to set you up for success in your MBA and career?