The standard approach to goal-setting works well in relatively known areas, where past performance can be used as benchmarks. However, goal-setting from the start may be counterproductive in entirely new areas.
If you wonder what's achievable for you, you may wait to set a specific target. Keep the effort and timeline goal instead.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
Any goal or project will usually have these basic qualities:
A goal is then a group of different features that get bundled together. Some are necessary, others are optional, and some are better to postpone.
When a goal has high uncertainty as to what level is achievable to reach within a particular time-frame, it is better to set specific targets in the middle of the process.
Plan your goals with the variables you do have: overall direction, time-frame, level of effort and strategies.
Minimum targeting works well for establishing long-term habits.
A goal of, for instance, doing fifty push-ups every day might not be ideal for fitness, but doing something is better than doing nothing.
Another reason to focus on the minimum is that it assumes the difficulty is in starting. To start a process can often be the hardest. Then you want to set a lower threshold to make starting as easy as possible.
... using the SMART criteria:
Don’t wait for someone else (your boss or mentor) to ask you what your goals are. Take the initiative and draft your professional goals independently.