Goals can take on several forms in your personal and professional life. You may have fitness or financial goals at home. At work, you may have individual sales goals or team sales goals. You may also set performance goals—short-term objectives that help you improve in your role.

Setting goals is one of the most powerful activities you can do, according to Dave Schafer, a contributor to the Trello blog. Just make sure you narrow them down. Goals should be SMART—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. You should also write down your goals. Schafer points out that people who jot down their aspirations are 20 percent more likely to accomplish them.

If you’re used to setting sales goals, setting performance goals might feel a little strange. It’s worth setting these goals, though, because they can help you continuously grow and improve. Want some ideas? Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, where we highlight four performance goals that Schafer says you can work toward next quarter.

1. Expanding your knowledge. This could mean getting a certification or taking courses in a topic that interests you. Some employers even pay for continuing education as part of employees’ professional development. Some factors to consider before setting this goal include cost and timeframe. How much are you asking for and how will the certification benefit your team? This is a great goal to set, according to Schafer, because not only are you enhancing your own knowledge and ability, but your new skill can benefit your entire organization.

2. Speaking up more. This performance goal might be especially helpful for newer employees. But even if you’re a more experienced professional, you might still dread speaking up in meetings. If you seldom share your ideas, it becomes easy to blend into the background. This doesn’t help your career much. Instead, set a goal to contribute something to each meeting, even if it’s just asking for simple clarification or sharing one new thought, says Schafer. You’ll get more comfortable each time you speak up.

3. Managing your time better. Everyone can benefit from a productivity power-up, says Schafer. This performance goal may be more challenging to fit into the SMART framework, so try to make it as specific as possible. Consider how you could boost your efficiency, how you could track it and how this improvement could benefit your team. Schafer gives an example of setting a performance goal to reduce your time checking email. If you currently spend two hours a day on email, aim to reduce it to one hour. This reduction allows you more time to focus on your actual work, which benefits your organization.

4. Improving your emotional intelligence. People with strong emotional intelligence know how to understand and work with emotions, both with themselves and others, says Schafer. If you set this as a performance goal, you can make it specific by providing positive feedback to colleagues, helping mediate conflicts or looking for opportunities to help coworkers.

Performance goals should inspire and energize you. Take time to think about how you want to improve this year. Use the SMART framework to bring clarity to your goals, and then go after them.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Dave Schafer is a contributor to the Trello blog.