What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?
Goals must be specific in nature. You cannot have a goal that is too general in nature. For example, having a goal like “I want to lose weight.” or “I want to make more money” are both goals that are WAY too general in nature. Specific means narrowing it down to something more tangible. Better goals would be “I want to lose 5 pounds” or “I want to make $100 more this week”. Those goals give you something to set your sights on.
With the above examples, you can get an idea of what measurable goals are. Giving yourself a number attached to your goal is one way to be measurable. The other way is to set a date to your goal. I personally set daily and weekly goals at the moment. I’m working on trying to get into the habit of having monthly and yearly goals as well. I also have what I call “big picture” goals that are more vague in nature and don’t support the S.M.A.R.T. frame but that I take those big picture goals and turn them into S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Setting attainable goals is very important. You don’t want to put extremely high-reaching goals in front of yourself that are next to impossible to achieve. If you do, you will tend to get discouraged easily as you realize you failed accomplishing these goals. Setting small, attainable, and somewhat challenging goals is the way to go. You will start to feel so much better about yourself once you get momentum going, tackling your goals left and right. It makes no sense to make it too hard on yourself. Rather, make it easier so you boost up your confidence and willingness to go further each time with your new goals you set.
Realistic and attainable goals are similar. Again, don’t set ridiculous and hard to achieve goals for yourself. For example, don’t say “I’m going to lose 20 pounds this week!”. Aside from a near-death illness, you can be pretty sure you’re not going to achieve that goal. Rather, concentrate on a goal like “This week I will stop eating snack foods and lose 2 pounds.” What’s realistic for you can also constitute a willingness to do it. For example, if you HATE running then setting the goal “I will run 5 miles this week and lose 2 pounds” may not be the best goal for you. You will completely dread doing it and either halfway complete it or fail altogether. Instead, if you set the goal “I will do high intensity exercise like 100 jumping jacks, 100 squats, 100 pushups etc. and I will lose 2 pounds”. You take the thing you hate out of the equation and suddenly you’re motivated to achieve your goal.
A time factor MUST be set on your goals. Otherwise, you will float aimlessly around, never completing the goal, or taking weeks, months, maybe even years to finish the goal (if at all). As I stated above, I like to set daily and weekly goals. I look at the big picture goals of the week and break down the tasks that I need to perform throughout the weekdays to accomplish my weekly goals. I find it useful to use Evernote for this task. It’s on my phone and computer and I’m usually always around one or the other. That makes it useful for me to update, review, and create my goals. I like to create my daily goals the night before. It even helps me sleep better knowing I have a planned day.
I hope this layout of S.M.A.R.T. goals helps you to achieve your goals and plan for your success. Please post a comment if you liked these or have anything else to add. Would love the input!