Have you been setting goals year after year but end up achieving none? Maybe they’re just not smart enough. Smart goals are guaranteed to bring you results. In fact, statistics show that only 3% of adults have smart goals and achieve 10 times as much as people without goals. That’s why setting goals the right way is such a big deal.
However, you might be clueless on how to set smart goals. Fret not. In this post, I will walk you through the steps of setting smart goals. Also, because I want to offer you as much help as possible, I will be gifting you with a goal planner to help you set smart goals in 2022. Download it down below for FREE.
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- 17 Things To Do When You’re Feeling Stuck In Life.
Let’s dive right in!
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WHAT ARE SMART GOALS?
A goal is a desired result that one envisions in the future, plans, takes action and commits to achieving it. It could be a personal ,professional or health goal. For instance, a person might want to double their income in one year. This is an example of a goal.
However, a goal alone is not enough. Many people in this world have goals to improve their living standards or health but few achieve it. Why? Their goals are not smart goals.
A smart goal is a guide to goal setting that makes it more likely achievable. SMART is an acronym that stands for:
- Specific. A specific goal is well defined, detailed, clear and unambiguous.
- Measurable. It should have a specific criteria of tracking the progress towards attainment of the goal.
- Achievable. The goal should be something that you can attain.
- Realistic. It should be within reach, realistic and relevant to your life purpose. You should be able to accomplish it according to the current place that you are in life.
- Timely. The goal must have a time frame of when it should be achieved with a starting and ending date.
Is this enough to achieve a goal?
My answer is no. Most people stop here. Over time most people have set smart goals but have not achieved it. Therefore, I want to present to you an addition to the SMART acronym that can help you achieve your goals. Let me introduce you to the SMARTER acronym. Wouldn’t it be better if you would be able to achieve your goals in a smarter way? The last two letters that I have added to the acronym stand for:
- Evaluate. You should be able to evaluate your goals. Sometimes a major life change might happen that might interfere with you achieving your goal as you envisioned. Maybe you might change streets and your goal to workout in the gym across your street might be difficult to achieve. That’s why evaluating and adjusting the goal is important. It might no longer be relevant to your life.
- Reward. Rewarding yourself after achieving a goal is as important as working towards it. When one is rewarded after doing an activity, the chances of him or her repeating the behavior is high. When you take advantage of this small psychological trick, you would find it easier and easier to achieve your goals. There’s no specific way of how you should reward yourself. Look within and ask yourself which is the best gift you would want someone to give you. Go ahead and get yourself that gift, trip or spa date?
Adding the above to your smart goals will increase your chances of achieving the goal by far.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING SMART GOALS?
If we do not take the time to know the importance of something, then it wouldn’t make sense to learn how to do it. Smart goals are very important as shown below:
- A specific goal let’s you know where you are going in your life. It’s not enough to want to increase your income. This is more of a dream than a goal. However, setting a goal to double your income gives you direction in your goals.
- A smart goal
- Smart goals emit the chances of you missing the details that might hinder you from achieving your goals. The excitement of achieving something often blind us to the difficulties that may lay ahead. However, smart goals take into account each and every difficulty that might be experienced. One is able to prepare to avoid those difficulties before they come.
- Smart goals break down your big plan into small steps. This makes your work easier. The reason why a lot of people procrastinate on working towards their goals is because they seem too big or difficult to achieve. However, breaking it down step by step makes your work easier. It also lets you know that there’s nothing too difficult to do if you break it down into small bits.
HOW CAN ONE SET SMART GOALS?
Now that we know the full meaning of the SMARTER acronym, we can use it step by step to set our goals.
A specific goal entails an action plan that is clear and well defined of achieving your goal. The easiest way that you can make your goal as specific as possible is by asking these six questions listed below:
- Who: Who is involved in this goal?
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Where is this goal to be achieved?
- When: When do I want to achieve this goal?
- Why: Why do I want to achieve this goal?
You should have an answer for each of the above questions. If you miss an answer for any of the questions then it means that the goal is not specific enough. Take your time while finding the answers to these questions as it will determine if you will achieve them or not.
For example, a vague goal would be, ” I want to increase my typing speed.” A more specific goal would be,” I want to double my typing speed on my laptop in two months by typing five hundred words daily so as to write a book in six months.”
Creating a measurable goal will depend on the criteria that you would choose to measure your progress. Use the questions below to help you make your goal measurable:
- How many/much?
- How do I know if I have reached my goal?
- What is my indicator of progress?
For example, using the example above: Every week, I will aim to increase my typing words per minute with ten words.
An achievable goal should strike a balance between being a challenge but possible to achieve. This means that you need to have a concrete action plan of how you can attain it. Ask yourself these questions below:
- Do I have enough resources to enable me to achieve this goal?
- Has anyone been able to achieve this goal before?
- Do I have the capability to achieve this goal?
- If not, what am I missing?
In order for a goal to be realistic, you should demonstrate your willingness and ability to achieve it. There’s nothing wrong with having big goals for yourself. In fact, it is important to have them. I have sometimes set goals that seemed impossible to achieve for myself but deep down, I knew that I was capable of attaining them. Some questions that you can use to identify if a goal is realistic are:
- Is this goal realistic and within reach?
- Do I have the time and resources needed to achieve this goal?
- Am I in a good place to commit to working on this goal?
A smart goal needs to have a time bound to be able to create urgency. The start and ending date should be indicated so that one can know what time they have to achieve the goal and how they are going to work towards achieving it. Ask the questions below to guide you:
- When do I want to achieve my goal?
- What time would be enough for me to work on my goal?
- When do I want to start working on my goal?
- Is the time frame too short or long?
Frequent evaluation of your goals and actions is important to assess whether you are on track . Also, you are able to know if your goal is still relevant to your life and purpose and what is and isn’t working. Ask yourself the questions below:
- Are my actions taking me closer or farther from my goals?
- Is this goal still relevant to my life and purpose?
- Do I have enough resources and time to continue working on this goal?
- What am I doing right and need to continue doing ?
- What am I doing wrong and need to stop doing?
- Is this goal still worth working towards?
Every time you reach a milestone towards achieving your goal, reward yourself to motivate you to keep going. A better way to motivate you to achieve your goal is to plan on how you would reward yourself after you achieve your goal. This will not only motivate you to work towards your goals but also prepare your mind psychologically for your reward. This is good for your mental health and self esteem. You can be able to identify the best reward for yourself by asking the following questions:
- What gift would I want someone to give me for achieving your goal?
- Where would I love to visit when I achieve my goal?
- Who would I love to spend time with when I achieve my goal?
- Which activity would I love to do when I achieve my goal?
If you follow the above seven steps while setting your smart goals, you would be halfway to achieving them. To help you put what you have learnt into practice, download this FREE goal planner that I created just for you down below. Just let me know where to send it.
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