Let’s dig deeper into each of the points that make up SMART to understand what’s behind them, what you need to consider and why:
Specific | you are more likely to accomplish a descriptive goal than a general goal. So be specific and add the little details that are needed. I recommend you write out your goal and display it somewhere you will see it often alternatively use a motivational vision board but try to address the 5 W’s. Who? What? Where? Why? and Which? We will address a 6th W later.
Measurable | depending on your goal you can measure it at the start and end of the week or month. For example, how does your savings account look like at the beginning of your savings goal, and how much do you have at the end of the month, cross off on a calendar each day that you saved, and so on. Find the best measuring indicators for your specific goal.
Attainable | Are you way too busy running a business and looking after a family and don’t find time to set aside to work on your goal? If you are not able to dramatically alter your life to suit your goals then set a different goal, one more suited to your current situation. It might be that your goal is a bit too big. Break it down into smaller steps that are manageable in your everyday life. Which automatically leads to the next point.
Relevant & Realistic | Your goals must be important and relevant to you, but choose something that is not only important but also interesting to you. This relates back to the Why question we asked earlier. If the goal you set for yourself appears dreadful, break it off into small bits and pieces and become creative to ensure you are going to have fun. At the same time ensure that you keep the eyes on the prize, meaning that you should not lose the bigger picture to keep your motivation high.
Timely | This is the 6th W, When? If we don’t set ourselves a deadline we run the risk of putting off our action steps and are less likely to achieve our goal. Again, be realistic about your time frame based on how best you can manage your time. Here you can play around with your own accountability as a creative option. You can set a deadline, let’s say in four weeks from the start of your action taking, tell your friends or family about it and ask them to check in with you to hold you accountable.
To spice it up, you can even promise to pay them 20 EUR or USD or whichever currency you are using in case you did not meet your goal. At the same time, if you do reach your goal, treat yourself to give it an extra motivation for you. Once you have set yourself a date ask yourself each day “what can I do today to reach my goal?”
SMART goals are there to give you that kick of motivation while writing them down and to make them feel tangible. Plan the steps you must take to realize your goal, and cross off each one as you work through them.
Now I want to ask you, are your goals SMART? If not, now is your chance to revise them.
Good luck setting up your goals and don’t forget to share them in the comments below.
Now get SMART and get done what has been long overdue.
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