SMART Goals – How to Set Goals You Can Meet
By Guest Blogger Heather Mathews
People make the mistake of setting goals that are too easy to the point that it’s not challenging anymore.
And goals that are too hard will freeze you from taking action. Here’s how you can set goals the right way…
Goals aren’t just meant to be smart, but S.M.A.R.T.
Here’s what I mean:
Let me explain SMART Goals in a bit more detail:
Personally, I think this is the most important part of setting your goals. Everything else hinges on this first step and this will determine the path you’re going to take in the foreseeable future.
Specific details get you excited. Details pump you up and fuel you to take action.
Remember, taking action is the only sure-fire way to meet your goals. Without action, all these goal-setting sessions will go to waste.
Therefore, you need to give yourself something crystal clear to aim for. Otherwise, you can’t take proper action and you won’t get the ball rolling.
Details equal clarity.
Don’t be vague or else you won’t know exactly where to go. And if you don’t know where to go, then you’re missing the point as to why you’re setting goals in the first place.
Also, having specific goals will embed a clear image in your subconscious about what you want to achieve.
Your mind will paint a picture in rich, vivid detail. This will make it a hundred times easier to manifest that goal into reality.
To give you a better idea, here are some examples of specific and vague goals (with a hint of how the other elements of SMART goals work):
- Have an extra $100 a month income from my online business.
- Spend at least 3-4 more hours with my family daily.
- Have one date per week with each of my children and one date per week with my husband.
- Pay off at least 500$ of my debt by the end of October.
- Get at least 5 more clients per week.
- Have more money.
- Be closer with my family and children.
- Pay off my debt.
- Lose weight.
- Learn how to play guitar.
Do you see the difference now?
It’s important that your goals also have a set of metrics to help track your progress.
If you don’t, then how would you know how close you are to achieving your dreams?
In other words, your goals need to be quantified in some way and have a specific deadline.
The more measurable they are, the better. When your goals are based on hard numbers, you’ll be more motivated to hit that target.
You’ll have a clearer idea of what you need to do to achieve that number you set.
Here are some examples:
- Be a 100 WPM typist.
- Solve the Rubik’s cube in under a minute.
- Lose 10 lbs in a month.
- Learn to play 2 new songs on the guitar per week.
- Talk to at least 2 strangers per day.
Now, these examples may not necessarily be applicable to your situation. Nevertheless, this will give you an idea of how to make your goals measurable.
If you set out to lose 10 lbs in a month, then it’s easy to see if you’ve done it or not.
That’s much better compared to simply telling yourself, “I want to lose weight.”
There’s a huge difference between actually working on your goals and wishful thinking.
Though arguably you can still know if you’ve lost weight if you’ve gone lighter. But having that 10 lbs goal in mind can keep you motivated and you’ll be more fulfilled if you’ve done it.
A lot of the other self-help advice out there will tell you that “A” stands for “attainable” or “achievable.”
But “actionable” is a more fitting way to describe it. You can empower yourself to become an action-taker by adding specific steps to your SMART goals.
People make the mistake of not adding any sort of actionable steps to their goals, and that makes it harder for them to get real results. Here’s what I mean:
- Be happy
- Make more money
- Be more productive
- Manage stress better
- Learn how to play music
These are nice goals for sure, but the way you phrase it makes ALL the difference.
Here’s an actionable version of those goals:
- Spend at least 2 hours more with my children daily
- Take at least 10% of my monthly income and invest it in the stock market
- Spend at least 1 hour a day working on my online business
- Spend 10 minutes meditating each morning after waking up
- Spend at least 30 minutes daily practicing guitar
When you add specific steps you can take every day, you’ll be that much closer to making your dreams come true.
Making your goals actionable gives them a sense of urgency. You’ll give yourself something that you need to do, and your goals will jump at you.
This will push you further into taking action.
As I mentioned, some people refer to “A” as attainable. In this case, however, let’s call it “R” for realistic instead.
It’s understood that we set goals in order to achieve something. We set goals in order to get to a better place and to live better lives, generally.
But we shouldn’t forget where we currently stand, and the present circumstances we’re dealing with.
If you set goals that are way beyond your reach, you might burn yourself out. You could end up quitting from being too overwhelmed.
But that doesn’t mean you should set goals that are too easy, either. Your goals need to be just hard enough to make your efforts worth it.
If you can find that balance between difficulty and attainability, you’ll end up taking on a worthy challenge. And when you accomplish your goals, you’ll get a great sense of satisfaction.
Ultimately, this will boost your confidence and give you the drive to tackle bigger goals in the future.
Remember, this shouldn’t hold you back from dreaming big. Even if you have lofty goals, you’re still on the right track if you can break it down to a specific set of clear, actionable steps.
If you find that your goals are too overwhelming and you can’t take action, then it’s better to turn it down a notch for now.
When you start making progress and build up your confidence, then you can raise the stakes gradually.
Harsha Bhogle once said, “The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal.”
Urgency is powerful. If your goal doesn’t have a deadline, you might put it off next week, next month, or next year.
On the other hand, having a timetable will push you into taking action and meet your deadline.
So, these five elements of SMART goal-setting will get you on the path to creating the reality you want. This will be a solid foundation for your gameplan for success and give you a powerful sense of purpose.
I suggest you set aside some time today and re-evaluate your current goals based on this model. Chances are you’re more likely to get more results with this approach.
Now, there’s one more method I’d like to share with you…
It will exponentially accelerate your results and make the whole process more effortless for you…
And the great thing about this technique I discovered is that it perfectly complements the SMART approach we just talked about.
It’s a little-known mind-boosting method that allowed me to get everything I wanted without having to waste my precious time and energy.