Why, hello there! 🙂
I have one quick question for you right up front!
Do you want to live your life as a reaction to other people and/or events or do you want to create the life your way?
(and believe me, the first option is no fun… been there, and hope never again!)
Sorry… What did you say?
Oh… the latter…
I thought so! Excellent!
So, you are ready to create your life path, right?
In that case, I guess you already have a pretty good picture of what you should do.
First of all, you need to have an idea of how your desired future life would look like, where you’d want to be in the future, and/or what you’d like to accomplish.
Perhaps you already have a couple of ideas in mind, which you can then call them your goals.
On the other hand, there’s a possibility you could be unsure whether your goal is the right one to choose and focus on.
(believe me, it happens a lot more often than you think…)
If that’s the case, I recommend you to read a post about goal setting guidelines first, and come back here after that.
So, in one way or the other – you successfully drafted out your goal.
There’s more to it!
By stating your goal this way (and leaving it like that), you’ll have a hard time to plan, track, and stay on top of it.
Believe me, I’ve made these mistakes in my life, so I’m telling you this to spare yourself the trouble.
Luckily, that’s where this story comes in.
A SMART goal format will help you define your main target really good, and make it fail-proof.
Try it out, and you’ll never search for another system again! 😉
What is a SMART goal?
A SMART goal even sounds great!
It feels like instantly owing a Ph.D. with high self-confidence tied all together!
But, don’t get so enthusiastic just yet, though!
Even though you may own a Ph.D. and have a very high level of self-confidence, you should go through this process first.
(well… the truth is, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to, but following it through will sure make the road to the end destination easier) 🙂
So, let’s start!
SMART is actually an acronym created to help you better remember the components of a good goal.
Ready to meet them?
Here they are!
- S – stands for Specific
- M– stands for Measurable
- A – stands for Attainable
- R – stands for Relevant
- T – stands for Time-bound
Yeah, yeah… But what does it all mean in real life?
I’ll tell you straight away.
How to create and set a SMART goal?
You found out what “SMART” stands for, and now it’s time to dive deeper and uncover all the specific details which will help you to create an amazingly potent goal.
Let’s take a closer look.
S – your goal should be Specific
Okay, but what does this mean – specifically? 😉
A specific goal will give you the answers to all the “wh” questions.
- What is it you want to accomplish?
This is generally viewed as the end result you are trying to achieve, and perhaps this is the easiest question which you can answer straight away.
- Why are you setting this goal?
The answer to this question gives you the insight into one very important component of a good goal – your reason for pursuing it.
If your goal is closely tied to your values and life priorities there are greater chances it will be achieved, because it is linked to those segments of your life which are meaningful to you the most.
This specific area of defining a goal is your best place to go to if/when facing obstacles and moments of doubt/low motivation along the way.
The deeper the connection between your goal and you, the more easily will such rough times be conquered.
(did I manage to persuade you to give this question a really good thought?)
- Who would be involved in it?
Even though your goal could be a completely personal one, it doesn’t mean you should be the only one involved in it.
Achieving goals (especially the “larger” ones) can be one energy-draining, isolated process if considering doing it all alone.
Why would you do that to yourself?
Think about the people which could help you in certain parts or through the whole process.
Count them in.
They don’t have to do the heavy work (but if they can and want to help in it, even better!), but they’ll make a meaningful impact on your goal even by helping around the littlest steps in the process.
So, it’s a good thing to surround yourself with at least a couple of friends (or coworkers).
Believe me, there will be times when all you’ll need would be a little conversation to get you back on the track.
And speaking to yourself ain’t fun… (well, at least not all the time! 🙂 )
- Where should the goal take place?
Is your goal tied to any specific location, or there are several places where the action will take place?
Note it and also write it down.
This will be useful when planning out the activities.
You don’t want to run from one place to another and back again if not needed, right?
- Which resources might you need to fulfill a goal?
It’s great if your goal can be accomplished with the resources you already have.
In that case, all you have to do is to define them, so you would know right up front what is it you’ll need.
However, there are good chances some additional resource(s) will be necessary in order to achieve the desired goal. And this is also a place where you should think about them and calculate their estimated costs.
(yes, unfortunately for all of us, money doesn’t grow on trees… Therefore it is a wise decision to create at least a draft financial plan right from the start. You don’t want to run out of funds in the middle of your goal, and I don’t believe you would be willing to suffocate in debts later on after you’ve achieved a goal, either.)
M – your goal should be Measurable
How can you tell whether you’re moving in the right direction, or how much progress you’re making, and how close are you to your goal’s finish line?
In order to know the answers to these questions, you should have some way of measuring what you want to be the outcome of your goal (in a quantitative way).
With units included where applicable!
I’m not talking about “I want to have a lot/little of (insert your thing here)”.
I’m talking about “I want to lose 15 pounds”, or “I want to create 5 unique skirts”, “I want to earn 1000$”, “I want to …”, well, you get the point!
This way you are clearly defining what needs to be done so you could say “Goal accomplished!”.
A – your goal should be Achievable
Or Attainable, whatever works better for you! 🙂
And what does this mean in plain English?
It means you’ve come to the place where you should address this question –“How can I accomplish this goal?”.
Think about all the smaller actions and steps that have to be met first in order to get what you strive for.
And although I strongly believe any goal is achievable, there is one really important matter which needs to be addressed here.
Are you willing to make a commitment to it and dedicate yourself to the tasks ahead (with maybe some help along the way)?
This is the moment when you should be open up to yourself about it.
There’s no point in making a goal if you know right up front you are currently not in a position to follow it through.
Better save this kind of goal for later, and choose a different one to start focusing on right now.
R – your goal should be Relevant
Your goal is something which undoubtedly has crossed your mind, but just because it seemed like a good idea, it doesn’t have to be a good thing to pursue it.
Yeah, believe it or not!
When thinking through it, your goal should give you the positive answers (and a clear sense of direction) to the questions:
- “Does it match my needs/strivings?”,
- “Is it in line with what I’m currently into?”,
- “Does it flow naturally in the vision I have for the future?”,
- “Is it worth it?”,
- “Is it now the right time to start it?”…
This area is being partially mingled with the answer(s) to the “Why?” question from the “S” part.
By all means, consider this segment to be of high importance and think about it for good because there is no worse thing than going after something which doesn’t genuinely touch you on a personal level.
T – your goal should be Time-bound
When do you plan/hope to achieve your goal?
Is it a month from now? Six months? A year or more?
(although I wouldn’t focus too much on those long-term goals, and here are my reasons why)
You have to set the time frame for which you want your goal to be achieved.
There is no point in going through all of this just to leave your goal hanging without a deadline.
No deadline => not making it a priority => not going to happen, because something else will always have more priority over this one.
So, define… your… time… frame!
And another note!
This is also a place where you should apply a reality check.
Be honest about your goal.
Even though I believe any goal is doable (there are some catches to it, of course…), setting one in an unrealistic timeframe will only be contra productive.
Here’s my tip.
When defining a time frame, I would go for the shortest time possible to achieve a goal (just to keep a little positive tension – to help being focused on the work) but also add some extra time on top (as something always tends to jump in unexpected… don’t you just wish things could always go according to the plan?).
And by going through these steps, you get one SMART goal ready to rock!
Let’s end it up with an example.
Take a look at this goal:
Redecorate the house. (period!)
And now this one:
Redecorate the house on
See the difference?
Even though both goals have the same essence, which one you find to be better?
(on the second thought, no need to answer! I think we all agree on that! 🙂 )
So tell me, what SMART goal are you going to set?
Have one (or a few) in mind?
If you’re like me, you might want to have a goal planner at your side along the way.
Now let’s smash some goals! 🙂 Yeeeeah!…