Throughout life we find ourselves wanting to achieve more. We always want to do better, to make more money, to get fit… We always want a million things, but what is it that keeps us from achieving them? It’s not that we can’t do them, because I guarantee you that we can! The problem always lies in our plan to achieve them!
The major problems that we face while attempting to reach our goals are often our goals themselves. We tend to plan poorly and aim too high! These plans always lead to us getting demoralized and disheartened! That is where the SMART goal system comes in!
You should always be smart in everything, especially your goals. Setting SMART goals means pacing yourself on a productive and effective path. SMART goals are regarded to be more realistic and achievable than general goals because they are more directed.
For example, a general goal would be to ‘get fit’ where as a SMART goal would be to ‘join a gym and workout 4 times a week’. Let’s be realistic; which one seems more doable?
With that being said, what are SMART goals?
S-Specific: In order to be specific, you must answer the 6 Questions which include
- Who is involved?
- What are you aiming to achieve?
- Where will it be achieved?
- When should it be achieved?
- Why am I aiming to achieve this? (What are the reasons/benefits?)
- Which (what are the requirements/constraints of the goal)?
M- Measurable: You must be able to measure your progress at every step of the way. Here’s how:
- Set specific measuring parameters
- Set specific measuring dates
- Identify the signs of good or bad performance (for example: “Am I attending the gym as many times/week as I planned?”)
A- Attainable: Your goals must be attainable, as in possible to reach and observe!
R-Relevant/Realistic: Setting a realistic goal is all about understanding yourself and your capabilities. It also about knowing that your short term goal will help you achieve your long term one!
For example: Saying that you want to make a billion dollars is not a realistic goal, but saying that you want to increase your income by 20% next year is a very realistic goal!
T-Time Bound: My mentor always says:”Nothing is serious unless its scheduled!”
That is one of the most important quotes anyone has ever said! You can always say that you will buy that sports car, but you will only be serious about it when you set a date for the purchase. Always specify when each goal is to be achieved and stick to that timeline!
There you have it, a lesson on how to be SMART. This system is the key to organizing yourself and establishing a system through which you can achieve all your goals. It is always important to dream big, but the next time you’re setting a goal for yourself, make sure that you use this system in order to actually achieve what you are hoping for!