Setting and Using S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Goal setting is an essential part of our lives.  In order to help guide us towards our hopes and dreams, we all need goals.  Setting goals helps us create a more solid path to what we want to reach in life.  Writing out those goals makes them real; it helps us visualize what we want to accomplish and also gives us a measurable way to see our progress on the way.

Goals are so important to us that we should be setting them right away.  We all have goals, but we do not set them as quickly as we should.  Goals are normally left in the back of our minds, never actually being written down to see and visualize what they are.

Goals must also be set the correct way.  When they are not set correctly, we become frustrated and unfulfilled in general.  Typically, we set goals only once per year – what is known as New Year’s Syndrome.  Setting goals on New Year’s Eve and forgetting about them happens to the majority of people setting goals this way.  Only 8% of goal setters on New Year’s Eve follow through to fulfillment!

Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is the solution for those that set goals incorrectly or once a year as above.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

The first step is to be as specific as possible.  The more specific we are, the easier we will be able to accomplish what we want to do.  For example, if you want to lose weight, write down exactly how much weight you want to lose.  Making a goal too general gives us an obscure target to achieve; when it is more exact it makes the goal more tangible.

The second step is to make the goal measurable so that you can actually measure what needs to be done to achieve the goal.  If the goals do not have a concrete criterion for measuring progress, it will not be possible to know whether you are making progress towards success.

The third step is to make goals that are attainable.  Make sure you are creating a goal that is not impossible.  For example, if you’ve never attempted to lose weight before, don’t make your goal to be a body builder in 6 months.  Make it something that is within your reach and you will also build confidence as you reach your goals.

The fourth step is to make a goal that is realistic for you.  Make sure it is something that you are both willing to work at and able to work at; otherwise you might find yourself frustrated and not continue.

Finally, the fifth step is to make sure the goal is time bound.  That is to say, set an exact date on when you wish to achieve the goal.  This makes the goal have a sense of urgency and you set your mind into motion to begin working on the goal and have a completion date.

By using the S.M.A.R.T. method for setting goals, you will find your goals can be achieved by being realistic and attainable!