Keeping your personal brand afloat requires maintaining the present and preparing for the future. With that being said – goals come to mind. A personal brand without goals keeps you at a standstill, while one with action-filled goals accelerates you along your career path.

As a working professional, goal setting is a staple in determining where are you are and where you want to go in your career. We talk about goal setting and preach to others the importance of creating a vision for the short term and the long term in order to achieve what we desire.

I recently read a great article from TrainingMag regarding a new approach to the goal setting process. Giving your SMART goals an added boost with BEST goals is the difference between an outline and a plan with action.

If you are just beginning to shape your personal brand, SMART goals are a great way to set a foundation for the characteristics of your objectives. Your goals should be each of the following in order to be productive and achievable:

Specific – Goals should be detailed rather than general.

Measurable – You need to be able to have a planned method of tracking your progress.

Attainable – Your goals should be realistic. Be able to answer the “how” question.

Relevant – Goals that matter and that pave the way for additional goals in the future should be the ones you spend time on.

Timely – A commitment to a deadline helps you focus and align your priorities.

For those of you ready to push yourself to your full potential, I believe BEST goals can take you and your brand to the next level. Here is how you can apply these new criteria to inspire your very BEST personal brand:

Bold – A bold goal, when applied to your personal brand, goes beyond your “safe” goals. Setting these goals takes you out of your comfort zone by surpassing your own expectations. The most exciting aspect of personal branding is that you don’t always have to play by the rules when dealing with how you want to brand yourself. Be fearless and maximize your potential by stretching your limits.

Enriching – A goal set on the basis of enrichment is a goal benefitting two sources. Create goals that are advantageous to your product or service as well as your own personal growth to fortify your brand. Because your brand is a direct representation of you as a professional, it is important for your goals to enrich your story.

Supported – Rather than being a one-man-team in achieving all of your goals, acquiring a support system of those believing in your dreams is a great way to remind yourself of your ability to achieve. For example, if you hope to be influential enough to speak at an upcoming industry event, clue others in on your goal for added motivation.

Targets – Similar to “timely” in the SMART goals, the final criterion for BEST goals is to establish a framework as to when you will accomplish what you have set out to do. Goals without a deadline often remain in the clouds. This is the tough love aspect of goal setting – if you want to reach your goals, get it done!

SMART goals are smart. BEST goals take you one step further. Your brand has the ability to perform at its optimal potential if you take the time to challenge yourself.