Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Many people associate the beginning of the calendar year with goal-setting, such as setting New Years resolutions, but did you know the fall is also popular time to set goals? Something about the back-to-school season motivates people to take action! The thought and intention you put into creating your goal can directly affect how likely you are to achieve your goal.
Goals are, essentially, a desired outcome with a deadline. A good goal must be put into writing, and you must be able to track and measure the progress you are making while working towards your goal. All of these things are made easier when you decide to create a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
– Specific objective
– Time based
What specific results do you want to have at the end of the project?
Who, what, why, when, where – be clear!
Creating a goal that is too broad is setting yourself up for failure. On the other end, getting too detail-specific can hold you back as well. Your goal needs to be targeted on your specific desired outcome.
What will be evidence that you made an impact?
What will you see/hear/feel change when this goal is met?
How can you check your progress on your goals? Little by little, progress adds up. If you are working on writing a book, you can measure the amount of words you have written. If you are trying to get in better shape, you can track the amount of times you’ve gone to the gym, or number of miles you’ve run. These are good goals because they are not all-or-nothing. They provide opportunities to check in and gauge your process as you go.
Is it currently within your reach? Where will you get access to what you need?
What can I achieve with my talents, resources, and networks?
A good goal should be achievable! By setting up an unattainable goal, you are setting yourself up for failure from the beginning.
How is your specific objective directly related to your broad goal?
Does completing your goal support your vision or values?
Make sure to stop and think if this goal is even actually relevant to you and your interests/desires/needs!
By what date will your project be completed?
What deadline will you set?
A goal with no ending isn’t a goal, it’s simply an open-ended aspiration. A time-frame will help you with all other areas of your goal. How can you measure and check in on your progress if there is no ending to work towards?
This doesn’t mean that all of your goals need to have a short time frame, but they all do need some sort of a time frame.
Also, many people chronically underestimate how much time they will need to achieve a goal or accomplish a project. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a generous time frame… you’ll just be extra excited when you finish early!
By following this goal-setting model, you can set yourself up for simple and achievable success! Have you ever set a goal using the S.M.A.R.T. model? Let us know in the comments!