SMART Goals–Time-Tested Formula for Setting Great Goals
Are You Setting SMART Goals?
I’m so excited to talk to you about today’s concept. It’s a big one. If you’re not familiar with it, this approach might just change your idea of goal setting. Resolutions can seem like such abstract things. Sure, we all want to do better for ourselves and make changes that will lead to self-improvements. Sometimes, though, these wishes end up fizzling and being all talk, with no action. Setting SMART goals can put an end to this pattern. Let me show you what this acronym stands for and how you can put it into practice.
We’ve talked about this already. Being specific is essential to goal success. Let’s go a little further and talk about what goes into setting specific goals. Answering some questions can ensure you’re writing goals that are anything but wishy-washy. Include such aspects as “what”, “why”, “when” and “how” into your goal, and you’re sure to create something specific.
The next letter in our acronym stands for “measurable.” This means that you should be able to somehow obtain concrete evidence that you’re making progress toward your goal and that you’ll know when you’ve finally reached it.
Your goal must be able to be attained. Sure, a challenge is great and no goal should be so easy that you don’t feel at all stretched beyond your comfort zone. However, taking time to make sure you have the ability, knowledge, and resources to accomplish your goal is essential to sticking with it. Impossible goals aren’t very motivating.
This part of setting your SMART goal involves making sure your aspiration is something that is meaningful to you. If it’s not relevant to your life, it won’t matter much to you whether you can accomplish it. Meaningless goals are destined to fail. There are lots of reasons you may fall into the trap of creating such resolutions. Perhaps you feel pressured by a loved one or by society. Maybe it’s your own internal voice telling you that you “should” want something that really isn’t all that important to you. Take time to examine the reasons behind your goal to ensure it’s one worth pursuing.
Finally, your goal should be time-bound. What this means is that there should be an end or a way to know you’ve accomplished it. A target date or deadline gives you something to shoot for. It adds a sense of urgency to your pursuit and keeps you on track. Setting a time for completion will help in the other aspects of goal setting such as measurement and specificity.
There you have them. These are the components of what’s known as SMART goals. Hopefully, these guidelines will make setting your own intentions easier and more attainable.
This is the Life I Choose 12-Week SMART Goals Journal and Planner
Request a 2-week free sampler of the journal/planner I have created to help you reach your SMART goals called This Is the Life I Choose: 12-Week Goals Journal and Planner. The full This is the Life I Choose Planner will be available for sale on Amazon by mid-January.
Start with the worksheet on setting SMART goals in the first few pages to help you really think through your goal in each of the SMART areas to be sure you’ve set a quality goal that sets you up for success. If you’re setting a longer-term goal, I encourage you to break it down into more manageable chunks. Set SMART goals you can achieve in the next 12-weeks and then break those down into six 2-week milestones.
I suggest starting Day 1 on a Sunday or Monday depending on whether you’d like your planning day for the next milestone to fall on a Saturday or Sunday. Then, plan for success through action steps each day in prioritized tasks and reflect at the end of the day.