Make Sure You Have SMART Goals
So you’ve read all the previous articles in the Goals and Objectives series (YOU HAVE READ ALL THE OTHER ARTICLES, RIGHT?) and you’re an expert on why you should set goals and why you might fail at achieving the ones you have set, but how do you actually go about setting goals? What’s the actual process that you would use to go about setting goals or objectives?
Well, in todays article we are going to take a look at just that: how to go about setting a goal.
Now, there are many different systems that you could use to set your goal and they’re all effective although some are better suited to one type of goal or another. We, however, are going to take a look at just one today: The S.M.A.R.T. system of goal setting, which I feel is the easiest and most effective to learn and start out with.
I firmly believe that you can do just about anything if you know how to set goals and actually set them, but most of us neither know how nor set them and then wonder why we’re not living the life we want, the way we want it. Remember we said goal setting is a learned skill and one that needs to be practiced? Of course you do! Now, goal setting also takes quite a bit of planning and preparation so if you’re not a planner, you’re going to need develop this skill as well.
However, the S.M.A.R.T. system helps alleviate some of our short comings and helps us to structure our goal or objective in a way that allows us to follow through and reach what it is that we want.
Enough already! Sheesh! let’s get to the good stuff‚Ä¶
So what do the letters S.M.A.R.T. mean anyway?
- Realistic, and
Take a look back at your goal or objective and see if it’s S.M.A.R.T.?
Is it? You don’t know?????
Ok, ok, let’s take a closer look at what each of these words mean.
[su_service title = “You Need Details” icon =” icon: lightbulb-o” icon_color=”#082574″]You’ve gotta be detailed and very, very specific. When you begin to specify the details of what it is exactly that you want, you will begin to see what it is that’ll be necessary and what it is that you will have to do to reach your goal.
So, let’s try it out. I want you to start by creating a statement or description of the goal or objective that explains what you will do. Use the phrase ‘I will’. Now, continue by asking yourself the WHAT, WHY, WHERE and HOW (we’ll see the WHEN in a second) of this goal to refine it. Make it as detailed as possible.
What’s great about this process is that a you discover everything that will need, at the same time you will be generating the sub-goals and steps that you need to take to achieve you prize.
[su_service title = “How do You Know When You Get There?” icon =” icon: lightbulb-o” icon_color=”#082574″]Now, you’re going to need some way of knowing when you reached you objective or the various sub-objectives along the way. The results have to be measurable, no way around it. If you want to make more money, for example, choose a specific dollar amount that you’d like to be making per year. If you wan to lose weight, specify exactly how many grams or kilos you want to lose per time period.
The great thing about making goals measurable is that you can easily see your progress and I can’t stress enough how much this will keep you motivated to keep on keeping on.
[su_service title = “Do Something Now!” icon =” icon: lightbulb-o” icon_color=”#082574″]Without specific or sometimes, massive action, you will never reach you goals. Period! But sometimes it hard to take action or even to get started. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. So, what can we do?
Try to break your goals down into smaller micro-goals, and then into specific actions for each mirco-goal you can take to make them happen. Think about things you can do today that will bring you closer to achieving your goal. Anything will do, just do something. Also, we need to prepare for when thing don’t go our way. What will you do if you don’t achieve some micro-goal? Will you give up all together? Make a backup plan of action you can take when things don’t go as planned.
As you make your way towards achieving you goal make sure to set aside time to reflect on and review your actions and assess the results. If you’re not getting the results you want, make the necessary changes immediately, if not sooner!
[su_service title = “C’mon, Be Real” icon =” icon: lightbulb-o” icon_color=”#082574″]I think this one’s a no brainer. Don’t try to will gold in the mens 100m at the Olympics having only prepared months before.
Goals only work when they’re realistic. What this really means is that you can see the big picture of what you need to do. Ask yourself whether or not this goal is something you can do ñ or even want to do. Take some time to think about your strengths and weaknesses. Which parts are going to be easy and which will be difficult? Develop a plan for the challenges you’re going to face.
[su_service title = “When, When, When?” icon =” icon: lightbulb-o” icon_color=”#082574″]This one is probably the one where most of us fail at!Set up a detailed timeframe for when your goal and all of your sub-goals are going to be achieved. Since this is hard to estimate if you’ve never done it before, make the best guess possible and change your timeframe slightly if you need to. We often find that it takes longer than we planned. However, you need to have a definite deadline to add urgency to it.
A great way to plan out your goal is to use mind maps. Mind maps are visual tools used for brainstorming and setting out tasks. At the center is your main goal and all of your sub-goals branch out from it. You can then define timeframes and exactly how you’re going to reach all of your sub-goals. Mind maps put goal planning in a visual format that makes it easy for you to see the big picture.
And that my friend brings our Goal Setting Series to an end.
To find out more about Goal Setting and personal development or to participate in the ongoing personal development debate, drop me note or two and let me know what you think, would like explained, what you would like to know about or even if you need help on something, just let me know.
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