This post is all about SMART goal-setting to help you turn your goals into reality which otherwise mostly remain a thought in your mind.
When it comes to goal-setting motivation and inspiration are our worst friends.
Infact a study by the University of Scranton has found 92% of people can’t keep up with their New Year’s resolution.
This reflects our lack of seriousness when it comes to goals and goal-setting in general.
The sad truth is for most of us goals sound good on paper, in most cases we fail to implement it or perhaps leave it midway.
However, there are also instances when people are dead serious about their goals and work their socks off but even then they don’t see any significant result.
Have you ever wondered why it is so?
The problem is how we set our goals. Most goals are so vaguely worded, we lose our interest.
Here’s where setting SMART goal-setting can help you.
What is SMART Goal-setting?
SMART goal-setting helps you nail down your goal to the specifics so it becomes achievable.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.
Now suppose, you have this lovely thought of starting your own venture.
But unless you set definite goals and targets, you are most likely to procrastinate and give up on this noble idea.
This is where SMART goal-setting can help you to execute an idea by pinning down the details to a ‘T’.
So if you want to start a new venture, SMART goal-setting will help you to guide both in your long and short term plans like where you stand financially to fund your business, how much you want to achieve in a year and so on.
Let’s examine this further.
S for Specific
First of all, I would recommend you to always write down your goals.
It gives you clarity to pin down the specific aspects of your goal.
If you don’t know where you stand or what exactly you are aiming for it may be difficult to carry on.
Ask yourself these questions
- Why is this goal so important?
- What exactly are you hoping to achieve?
- What are the difficulties involved?
- What are your strengths or resources at your disposal?
Suppose you want to learn baking, you have to turn it into a goal you can accomplish.
Like why you want to learn baking? Will it be just a hobby or you are planning to turn it into a business?
What are the tools you would need for baking? Would you learn it at home or take a particular course and get a degree?
The point is to get acquainted with your goals.
M for Measurable
SMART goal-setting recommends having goals you can track, or else you won’t have any way of knowing how far you have progressed.
Plus it is necessary to evaluate your goals and make any tweaks if needed.
Suppose you want to lose weight in order to do that you have to put certain periodic checks and balances in place to ascertain your progress.
Accordingly, when you note down your weight loss goals, write down how much weight you want to lose and within what time-frame.
Like I want to lose 12 kg within 5 months, and then keep the scope for periodic evaluation to see how much weight you have actually lost.
A measurable goal is about tracking your advancement from when you started.
The best way to do that would be through a tracker to note down your personal milestones and keep your spirits high to keep on going till you achieve goals.
Infact I just have designed my free 2020 productivity planner, including a really easy to use goal-tracker.
Don’t forget to grab this freebie and slay your goals and make the most out of 2020.
A for Actionable
With SMART goal-setting you can create an actionable plan to chase your goal. Without a plan in place your goal would just remain a wish.
Suppose you would like to improve public-speaking skills.
You have to create a concrete plan on how to go about it, you can detail out steps like practicing impromptu speeches in front of the mirror everyday for15 minutes.
Maybe reading more books to improve your vocabulary, or looking out for opportunities and events that allow you to test your skills and so forth.
A plan in place gives you a roadmap and transparency to proceed with your goals.
R for Realistic
There are instances where we plan grand goals only to be disappointed later.
For example you can’t expect your newly launched business venture to make millions in profit within first 6 months.
You have to be realistic about your targets and SMART goal-setting allows you to do so.
Even Amazon started from the ground level and became the giant corporation that we know today.
When you break down a large goal into smaller achievable targets you are motivated to go on.
T for Time-bound
You cannot go on chasing a goal forever there has to be a final deadline to accomplish it.
When it comes to goals setting a date and time springs your mind to action.
For example when you have goals like “I will travel the world someday” or “I will lose weight” you are most likely to never follow your goals and since these don’t specify any definite period.
Such indefinite goals sound terribly vague.
A time-bound goal helps you to allocate your time wisely to achieve what you want.
It helps you to answer questions like
- When do I begin my goal?
- Where I want to be three months from now?
- What can I accomplish in six months?
- What can I do in the next three days?
SMART Goals V/S Vague goals
Now let’s redefine an above mentioned goal with SMART-goal setting and see the difference between SMART goal setting and vague goals.
Vague goals are when you have a goal but no definate plan in place you. Like “I will lose weight,” it’s great you want to lose weight but how do you plan to go about this. What is your work-out plan or your diet routine.
This the essence of SMART goals it gives you a solid vision on how you can follow through your goals. Now just note how I break this vague into more smarter version.
- I will lose 20 kg within 8 months, by following a planned diet and doing yoga 5 times a week between 6 and 7.00 AM.
- I will start my diet routine from 25th January, 2020 and my exercise session from 1st of February, 2020.
- I currently weight 80 kg by 1st September 2020 I will reduce this weight to 60 kg.
- I will observe my cheat days on Saturday of every week.
- I will do an evaluation of my weight loss on 15th of every month.
I really hope you see the huge difference that SMART goal-setting has made. As per your situation you can break down this your goal further with this method.
It nails downs the details and maps out your course of action and even keeps the scope for tracking your progress.
Gist of SMART Goal-Setting
Let’s sum up the gist of SMART goal setting once more.
Your goals have to be specific where you take all aspects into consideration.
It has to be measurable to track your progress. You must create a plan for chasing your goals.
It has to be realistically achievable and you have to accomplish it in a time-bound manner. If your goal goes on forever there’s something wrong.
Acknowledging small wins
Have you ever had your favourite chocolate after a long tiring day? How good was that feeling when the chocolate melted in your mouth?
Chasing a goal can be difficult sometimes so you have to reward yourself with such metaphorical chocolates to keep the momentum going.
Note down your small accomplishments and give yourself a deserving pat on the back. Be super proud of yourself for trying each day.
When you are trying to achieve a goal you have to create a supportive environment for it.
Like suppose you are trying to eat healthy, you have to create supporting habits like exercising that creates positive stimuli for you since both these things are co-related.
Likewise if you are trying to lose weigh you have to make healthy food choices and perhaps get rid of processed or any junk food that may trigger you to binge eat.
With anything in life you need patience and the same goes for goal chasing too.
SMART goal-setting can give you a good masterplan for your goals but the execution and implementation has to be yours.
Don’t be disheartened with setbacks, just keep the patience and you will sail through.
SMART goals is essentially a business management concept and widely regarded as a more efficient way to set and achieve targets.
After all “I will write a book someday” is so lame as compared to “I will write 1000 words each day and 7000 thousand words a week, and complete the first draft of my book within 3 months.”
Yes, SMART goals are a little detailed in wording but they really help to pin down the fine points of your goal.
There are also days where you will be just tired and uninspired or be surprised with the curve-balls that life throws. But in any case don’t give up!
Do you have any SMART goals I would love to hear about it. Please leave your thoughts below!