Now that you know why it is important for you to set goals, now you will learn about the SMART goal setting technique in order to increase your chances of success before even taking the first step towards fulfilling your goal.
If you haven’t read the article on why it is important for you to set goals, you can read it here at this link: Importance of Goal Setting.
Before you start tackling your goal, let’s take a step back and review it. What is your goal? Now, I want you to spend a few minutes to think about it. If you know what your goal is already, I want you to really think about it.
Done? Okay, good.
In this article, I’m going to teach you how you can improve the goal you have now, so that it will be more achievable. If you don’t think it was impossible, then you might want to consider aiming higher.
So, what is the SMART goal setting methodology?
What Is SMART Goal Setting?
SMART is an analogy for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Think of this as a 5 point checklist for your set goal.
Chances are if your goal does not meet these 5 points, you are more likely to have a hard time to achieve your goal, or maybe not be able to achieve it at all – which we don’t want.
So let’s get into more detail about each of the 5 points on SMART goal setting.
S For Specific – Set Specific Goals
First off, make sure to be as specific as possible when it comes to setting your goal. Being general or not as specific with your goal could result in a wild goose chase when achieving your goal.
When you make your goal specific, you will have a better idea of what it is you are trying to accomplish.
This also helps you in terms of focusing on what’s important, and what’s not important, as well as looking for the things you need to know to achieve your goal.
Although, if you are stuck at trying to figure out the specifics, don’t worry over it too much. Either just start working towards your goal with what you know now, or consider changing your goals and focusing on it another time.
M For Measureable – Make Sure You Can Keep Track Of Your Progress While Achieving Your Goal
Next, make sure your goal is measurable. Find some way to track your progress while you achieve your goal.
Doing this will not only allow you to have a better understanding of where you are at, but will also help you stay on top of things.
After all, the human mind can play tricks and sugarcoat reality, but numbers tells the facts.
On the other side of things, seeing yourself making progress will also serve as an important motivational factor towards your commitment, dedication, and success.
A For Achievable – You Should Have The Means, Skills, Or Ability To Achieve It
Another thing you need to make sure of is your goal needs to be achievable, and that is you should have most of the means or abilities to achieve it.
If you are short on a few skills or connections needed to achieve it, don’t worry, that is something you can fix. However, if you are far from being able to meet some means of achieving the goal, it is best that you reconsider your goal, and consider focusing on a different goal.
You don’t want to waste time on something that is out of your reach. This brings us to the next condition, and that is your goal needs to be realistic.
R For Realistic – Your Goal Needs To Be Realistic
Chances are, not everyone is going to be a Mark Zuckerburg, a Bill Gates, or a Steve Jobs, who will be able to pull off a big impact towards society. Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible, but rather, the chances are lower for some, but higher for others.
Your goal needs to be realistic. It has to be within the laws of physics and logic.
At this point, you need to make sure you don’t confuse the definition of “impossible” with “realistic”, because people tend to use “impossible” as an overstatement. If your goal is achievable, then chances are your goal is most likely possible and realistic.
T For Timely – Set A Deadline For Your Goal
There is a famous quote shared amongst like-minded goal achievers, and it goes like this.
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill
Now, I won’t get into the argument about the differences between a goal and a dream, because that is outside the scope of this post. If you are interested in the topic though, I made a blog post on just that here: What is the difference between a goal and a dream?
Ok, back on topic, simply put, set a deadline for when you want to achieve your goal by. For some of you, your goal might be something that can go on forever, and ever, but you need to at least set a minimum deadline as to when you reach the phase of achieving the goal.
Don’t give yourself too much time. If you do that, you will end up spending more time than it is necessary to achieve your goal.
Now that you have learned about how to set SMART goals, based on the five conditions of setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, you are ready to start the journey towards creating your own success story.
Be sure to read the next post in this series, and that has to do with finding the time to work on your goal, or time management.