I’m excited about today’s topic because it happens to be one of my new year “resolutions”. At the end of last year, I decided to make 2019 the year of living with more intention. I plan to be successful in this endeavor using SMART goals.
From personal to professional endeavors, I want to be more productive with my time. We all have the same amount of time in a day. How we use it contributes to our level of success. If you’re ready to level up and accomplish your dreams, keep reading to learn how to set SMART goals.
1) Be Specific
Having a clear vision about your goals helps you to focus on the necessary steps required to reach them. When working toward accomplishing a meaningful goal, being specific about what you want to achieve will help a great deal.
A good way to gain this insight is to spend time determining your biggest aspirations. Once you have decided what your top 3-5 goals are, think about why each is important to you. I suggest writing your thoughts down with as much detail as possible.
Read More: 10 Steps To Achieve Your Goals
If your goal is to save $1000 for an emergency fund, don’t just state “I want to save money for an emergency fund”. Instead, write the exact amount you want to save, the time frame, and how you plan on accomplishing that goal.
ex: “I will have $1000 dollars saved by June 1, 2019 for my emergency fund. I will accomplish this by picking up extra hours at work and via side projects.
Once you have determined the specifics of a goal, your next step is to work on creating measurable steps to help you accomplish it.
2) Create Measurable Steps
Creating measurable steps is an important part of setting SMART goals. Having a way to evaluate the progress of a goal helps you determine if you are on track or need to make adjustments.
Referring back to my earlier example of saving $1000, a measurable step for this goal includes determining how much money per pay period is required to reach the intended date. Depending on your income, you may be able to save this amount earlier than expected. If you have to extend the date, continue to set aside money that is strictly for this goal.
I’ve personally been using this technique for a few years and it has helped me save money for specific financial goals. I will admit there have been times when I’ve veered off course and had to start over. If you find yourself in a similar situation, recognize where you went wrong and make the necessary changes to get back on track.
3) Determine If Your Goal Is Attainable
Do you know what the easiest part of setting SMART goals is? If you answered “setting the goal” you’d be correct. Coming up with a list of things you’d like to accomplish is a relatively easy step in goal setting. Once you get started, you’ll probably end up with a mile-long list. Determining if the goal is attainable, given various factors is the difficult part.
New Year’s resolutions are a good example of setting well-intentioned goals that may not be attainable if proper planning hasn’t taken place. When you set your SMART goals, ask yourself the following questions.
–What are the necessary resources required?
– Do I have enough time to complete this goal given my resources?
– What are the potential roadblocks I could face along the way?
– Who could I depend on to help me reach my goal/s deadline if needed?
The answers to these questions will help you determine if you need to make adjustments to your goals. They can also help you reflect on why these goals are relevant and important to you, which will keep you motivated.
4) Ask Yourself Why Your Goals Are Relevant
When it comes to setting SMART goals, determining why a goal is relevant helps influence the decisions you make going forward. I’ve often asked myself if I’m pursuing this goal out of a lifetime passion, or because it seems like the “right” thing to do?
The SMART goals you set for yourself should be things you genuinely want to pursue. You should feel aligned with them and be willing to invest the time needed to successfully complete them.
5) Set A Time Frame
When you set a SMART goal, always keep the end date in mind. If you don’t put an end date on a goal it’s just a wishful thought. While you may have to make adjustments along the way, affecting the targeted completion date, you should always be working toward accomplishing a goal in a reasonable time frame.
If you have to extend the time needed to complete a goal, hold yourself accountable by managing your everyday schedule. Remembering why you must complete a goal by a certain time frame will motivate you until it is done.
Setting SMART goals is a great way to help elevate yourself professionally and personally. It takes discipline, consistency, and a positive mindset to experience the benefits of this practice. In the end it’s well worth it because you will be accomplishing things that are meaningful to you. It’s small changes like setting SMART goals that add up to life-changing results.
I hope you enjoyed reading these tips and found them useful and thank you for taking the time to read this post.
Thanks for reading,