Everyone has something they want or need to get done in their life, but many struggle to accomplish what they set out to do. S.M.A.R.T. goals have been shown to greatly increase the chance of actually meeting your goals more than any other system. In order to use this powerful goal setting method, you need to understand not only what S.M.A.R.T. goals are, but also how to use them effectively.
What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?
The S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. Any goal that fulfills these five criteria can be achieved more easily than one that does not. Goal setting requires careful planning of your targets.
Specific — Write down exactly what you want to accomplish instead of something general. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals to paint three new watercolors before the end of the month instead of just saying you will paint more.
Measurable — If you cannot measure your progress, how will you know when you meet your goal? A goal to write 1000 words each day can be measured to keep you on track.
Attainable — Keep realistic when goal setting. If you make minimum wage, a goal to buy a yacht may not be attainable, but a goal to save $50 per paycheck is. You can revisit the yacht goal later.
Realistic — Ability and willingness to work toward a goal are both important. If you make a goal to get on a minor baseball team but aren’t willing to practice hitting every day, your goal isn’t realistic.
Timely — Deadlines make people work harder, smarter and faster. Goal setting to finish a college degree “someday” will move you no closer to your S.M.A.R.T. goals. Saying you will do it in two years gives you motivation to work hard to get there on time.
Goal setting requires specific criteria if you wish to improve the chances of you achieving everything you want in life. S.M.A.R.T goals help you create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. These traits turn a “maybe, someday” into a “goal achieved!”