I’m so excited to talk to you about today’s concept. It’s a big one. If you’re not familiar with it, this approach might just change your idea of goal setting. Resolutions can seem like such abstract things. Sure, we all want to do better for ourselves and make changes that will lead to self-improvements. Sometimes, though, these wishes end up fizzling and being all talk, with no action. Setting SMART goals can put an end to this pattern. Let me show you what this acronym stands for and how you can put it into practice.
We’ve talked about this already. Being specific is essential for goal success. Let’s go a little further and talk about what goes into setting specific goals. Answering some questions can ensure you’re writing goals that are anything but wishy washy. Include such aspects as “what”, “why”, “when” and “how” into your goal, and you’re sure to create something specific.
The next letter in our acronym stands for “measurable.” This means that you should be able to somehow obtain concrete evidence that you’re making progress toward your goal and that you’ll know when you’ve finally reached it.
Your goal must be able to be attained. Sure, a challenge is great and no goal should be so easy that you don’t feel at all stretched beyond your comfort zone. However, taking time to make sure you have the ability, knowledge and resources to accomplish your goal is essential to sticking with it. Impossible goals aren’t very motivating.
This part of setting your SMART goal involves making sure your aspiration is something that is meaningful to you. If it’s not relevant to your life, it won’t matter much to you whether you can accomplish it. Meaningless goals are destined to fail. There are lots of reasons you may fall into the trap of creating such resolutions. Perhaps you feel pressured by a loved one or by society. Maybe it’s your own internal voice telling you that you “should” want something that really isn’t all that important to you. Take time to examine the reasons behind your goal to ensure it’s one worth pursuing.
Finally, your goal should be time-bound. What this means is that there should be an end or a way to know you’ve accomplished it. A target date or deadline gives you something to shoot for. It adds a sense of urgency to your pursuit and keeps you on track. Setting a time for completion will help in the other aspects of goal setting such as measurement and specificity.
There you have them. These are the components of what’s known as SMART goals. Hopefully, these guidelines will make setting your own intentions easier and more attainable.