DID YOU KNOW we set and achieve immeasurable goals throughout the day?
- How we conduct our relationships.
- What we want to accomplish at work.
- How to engage our spare time
Goal setting is a central aspect of our lives. For some of us, it is a conscious process, but for others, it is an unconscious act that lacks purpose and direction.
Goals are dreams with deadlines
Without setting goals, our lives become series of random happenings that we have no control over. We become the unfortunate playthings of coincidences.
Setting goals bring us some extraordinary benefits. Goals help us to eliminate procrastination and laziness, the two biggest culprits of sabotaging our progress. When we set goals, we provide ourselves with more certainty and clarity as we pursue our desired objectives. Having goals in place increases our passion and motivation.
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a purpose, not to people or things. – Albert Einstein
However, not all goals are created equal. While all goals will be beneficial to some extent, there are disadvantages to formulating regular goals. Firstly, they are likely to be arbitrary, meaning that even when we have achieved them, they may not significantly benefit our lives. Again, we may be upbeat about setting goals that are genuinely not achievable.
Goals that are not well thought out are also likely to be difficult to measure. We will never be sure whether or not we are making any progress. And what can I say about goals that are not time bound? Such goals end up in a state of limbo; we never really abandon them, yet we do not achieve them.
Enter SMART goals
SMART goals address all the pitfalls associated with regular goals. SMART goals focus our attention and resources on what is most important so that we can achieve the maximum possible benefit. When we set SMART goals, we save time and energy and make the process of attaining goals much more productive and efficient.
Compare the following goals:
(and while comparing decide which goal in each of the pairs is more likely to be achieved?)
I will get fit.
I will eat two healthy meals per day and go to the gym five times per week for 1 hour.
I want to save $1,000 by the end of this year.
I will have $40 per paycheck automatically transferred to my savings account for one year.
I want to find the love of my life this year.
I will participate in activities and groups for single people near me for three nights every week this year.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. – Larry Elder
How to formulate your SMART goals
Setting SMART goals makes us think about our goals before we embark on achieving them. If we dive right into a goal without a degree of forethought and planning, we are doomed to fail right from the start. For your goals to be efficient, they must have the following attributes.
When setting a goal, it should be apparent in your mind what you want to accomplish. Answering the following WH – questions is a start to making your goal specific.
- Who needs to be involved in achieving the goal?
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- What is the reason for the goal?
M – Measurable
You cannot say you have a good goal when you have no way of telling whether you have achieved it or not.
- Is the goal quantifiable?
- How will you know when it is achieved?
A – Achievable
Your goal should motivate you, not discourage you. When you set a goal that is unattainable, you are guilty of sabotaging yourself.
- Do you have the resources to achieve your goals?
- Do you have the motivation?
- Do you have the skills needed?
R – Relevant
You will be motivated to achieve your goal if it truly matters to you. The best strategy is to ensure the goal aligns with other relevant goals.
- Why am I doing this?
- Is this goal a priority for me?
- How will it compete with different goals in my life?
T – Time-bound
Goals that lack realistic timing will not succeed. It is always prudent to provide a target date for deliverables.
- Do I have a deadline?
- Have I put it on the calendar?
SMART goals examples
- I will update the employee handbook to include a searchable intranet version that is easy to use by 30th September.
- I will read five extra books about managing projects by August 31st.
- I want to drop 20 pounds by December by implementing the 52 Week Clean Eating Habit challenge.
- I want to establish myself as a social media expert. I will write a 150 page e-book on social media; one chapter per month. I intend to complete the book in ten months. I will then self-publish.
- I want to acquire three new clients for my business by end of July. I will ask for referrals, launch a social media marketing campaign and network with local businesses.
- I want to create a new website for my business by 30th of July. I will utilize a website development company to build the site and create a payment interface.
- I will present a minimum of two breakfast seminars per quarter for the next one year to boost my confidence and improve my presentation skills.
- I will read one book every month. I hope to read 12 books by the end of the year.
- Every evening, I will play with my children for 20 minutes, then read them a story before bed.
- I will write 500 words per day for my 50 pages e-book on Landscaping. I will complete the e-book by December.
- I will exercise for 20 minutes, four times a week to increase my strength and stamina.
- Every Wednesday evening, I will do something romantic for my partner.
- I will donate blood every three months for the next one year.
- Every weekday evening, I will meditate for 15minutes.
- I will have 200 items listed on eBay by the end of July.
Here are some templates that you can use to write your SMART Goals
Initial goal (put down what is in your mind)
Specific (what do I hope to accomplish? Who else will be involved?)
Measurable (how will I measure progress? How will I know that I have achieved my goal?)
Achievable (Do I have the skills necessary to achieve this goal? How can I attain them?)
Relevant (How will achieving this goal improve my life?)
Time-bound (What is the deadline for achieving this goal?)
SMART GOAL: Review the above information and craft a new statement based on the answers to the questions above
|What do I want to achieve?||Who?
How many times?
|Which skills do I have or need to pursue this goal?||Is it important?
How does it tie to my overall life’s purpose?
|MY GOAL IS|
How will I do it?
What? When? Where?
How will I measure it?
How much? How many?
Is this something I can do?
Is this something I am excited to do?
When will I do this?
When is the deadline?
Staying on track
Here are an additional three things you can ask yourself to help you stay on track for when the going gets tough.
- The names of the people I can ask for support
- What are the things that may make it difficult for me to achieve my goal?
- Which are some of the ways I can manage these difficulties?
If you desire to achieve a massive goal in your own life, apply the SMART concept and watch what happens. You may just be pleasantly surprised to find that the big scary goal is not that scary after all. Again, you might find that a goal you have attempted and failed at in the past is actually quite achievable.
Go on and try and tell us what happens. Good luck! You have got this!
If you have any questions or queries with these SMART goals examples then you can contact me here.