In a previous post that you can find here I mentioned that one way I go about setting goals is by using the acronym S.M.A.R.T goals.
S.M.A.R.T stands for (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely)
In this post I would like to explain this acronym in more detail and describe the steps for using this strategy. If you would like to study this subject further, this book goes into great detail in regards to setting S.M.A.R.T goals S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple – 10 Steps to Master Your Personal and Career Goals (Productive Habits)
Let’s start by looking at the first letter S
S stands for Specific.
When you set your goal the first step is to be specific with your goal.
Let me give an example.
Let’s say you have planned a trip away with your family and you have chosen to take them to France to see the Eiffel tower. This is a goal, but the problem is that it is not very specific. To get to the tour lines that get you to the Eiffel tower you need to be specific in your planning. For this example, you would want to define your goal by being specific and defining the steps needed in achieving the goal. Write down the goal and then go into specifics on how you are going to achieve it. You would want to write down for example, when you wanted to take the trip, what budget would you need, how to obtain a passport and visas that are needed e.c.t
Working out the (what, how, and when) helps you break down the goal and helps you keep focused on the specific actions needed in achieving the overall goal of getting to the Eiffel tower.
It is important to remain constantly focused and specific when pursuing your goals.
M = Measurable
When setting a goal one of the main criteria’s is to be able to measure your progress. To measure a goal, you must be able to determine if you are achieving the steps you set out in the beginning of the goal setting process. It is important to answer such questions like, how far have you come, how far have you got to go, how much e.c.t.
It is important to answer such questions so you are able to establish how you are progressing in achieving your set goals.
If you go back to the example of going to see the Eiffel tower you would want to be able to answer such questions such as “how much further?”, working out measurable landmarks to see how far you are on your journey is one way to do this. If you are not able to measure your goals, you are falling into the trap of leaving everything to luck when it comes to achieving your goals.
A = Attainable
When setting a goal, you must work out if the goal is attainable. It is pointless in setting a goal that is impossible to achieve. You have to work out things like if you are emotionally, mentally, physically capable of achieving the goal that you have set. For example, it would be no good setting a goal to go visit the Eiffel tower if you are unable to travel due to travel restrictions e.c.t
If you set a goal and work out that it is indeed achievable you will find that you will be able to work out ways to work out the skills, attitudes and abilities needed in achieving that particular goal which will result in you achieving your set goals.
R = Realistic
Being realistic when you are creating your goals is of vital importance.
When setting your goal, you have to make sure that it is realistically possible to be achieved.
T = Timely and Tangible
When setting a goal, you must have a time limit on when you want to have that particular goal achieved. By doing this it will help create a time limit and will result in creating a sense of urgency that will increase your chances of meeting your goal.
When you set a goal is important to make sure you have a time frame in mind of when you want that goal achieved. For example, I had a wedding that I was due to attend and I was chosen to be part of the musical entertainment. I play the guitar and I had to be able to perform a set list of songs that I have never played before and in a different style that I was not used to playing. Knowing that the wedding was only months away it caused me to take massive action to be able to learn the new songs and new techniques needed. If I did not have a deadline, I would not have achieved this goal in such a short time and I would have procrastinated getting side tracked to the point of taking me longer in achieving this goal or not achieving the goal at all.
Hope this has helped in explaining how to set goals the S.M.A.R.T way that will hopefully see you achieving your future goals.