If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without them, you lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction but also provides you with a benchmark to determine whether you are actually succeeding. One of the most popular and easiest methods of setting goals is called SMART. In this article, we’ll explore what SMART goals are, and we’ll look at how you can use them to achieve your objectives 🙂
What SMART means?
SMART is an acronym that can help you set your goals. The five letters stand for:
- Time bound
Some expand it to include extra focus areas and make it even SMARTER, which includes Evaluated and Reviewed.
How to use it?
A specific goal has a much bigger chance of being accomplished than a general goal. You have to be very clear about it. To do this you must answer the five “W” questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
Example: Let’s say you want to start a writing business. A specified goal could be for example “I want to start a freelance writing business”.
Measurable goals help you track your progress and stay motivated. Give yourself defined outcomes you can tick off. I mean… who doesn’t love the feeling of checking things on your task list?
To make it right you should ask yourself:
- How much?
- How many?
- At which point will I know when it’s accomplished?
Example: I want to have at least 5 clients.
What does it mean that the goal should be achievable? It should be challenging and push you to the limits of your abilities but still be possible to complete. The goal, your skills, and your commitment level have to be a perfect match.
While thinking about it keep in mind two questions:
- How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
- How can I accomplish this goal?
Example: I’m a good writer. I’m prepared to ask my friends for contacts and go to meetings where I will promote myself as a writer. That together seems to make my goal achievable.Make your goals realistic but challenging enough to motivate you Click To Tweet
This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you and that it also goes along with other relevant goals. You won’t become a lumberjack if another goal of yours is to move to the desert. There is a possibility you will totally fail. Just saying. So make sure your ideas don’t clash.
Example: Having my own writing business was my dream since I was a child and it’s consistent with my other life goals. And that makes a perfectly realistic mix.
It really makes the difference when you have time frames. It’s best when they’re realistic but close enough to motivate you. This way you have a deadline to focus on and something to work forward to. It also helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over longer-term ones. Wise people say that a goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline. So the most important question to ask is just WHEN?
Example: I want to have at least 5 clients by 4 months from now/2017/the 14th of November 2016A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline Click To Tweet
SMART? Not so smart.
Some of those criteria (like measurable) are perfectly fine. But other parts like achievable and realistic are not so perfect. Why? Because too often they can discourage from action and make you think too small. You can just put yourself in a box full of impassable borders. They seem to say “Don’t push beyond your resources”. And that’s just not right. So maybe the SMART way of achieving goals is not to follow the rules blindly? My advice is just – think twice – it’s wise!
Now… You completed a one SMART cookie tutorial! Good luck with achieving your goals. And don’t forget about time-tracking! 😉
Let us know how did you like the article! Was it useful? Or maybe you have your own ways of setting goals?