Goal setting is important both in your personal and professional lives. This not only allows you to organize your thoughts and objectives, but also gives you the ability to obtain measurable milestones. There are a variety of ways to go about obtaining your goals and one way to do that is through SMART goals. Utilizing SMART goals gives you the ability to reviews you goals through five different lenses, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely, ensuring you efficiently use your time and resources to obtain said goal.
This first criteria is that your goal must be specific. For example, around the beginning of the year individual’s state they want to lose weight or increase their income. While these are respectable goals, they are vague. To make those specific, the individuals should say they want to lose 3 pounds a week or increase their income $500 a month. There are many ways to go about this, like getting a high paying job.
Specific goals give you a clear mission with minimal room for misunderstanding. It also helps keep you accountable through the process, having a clear objective to obtain.
Next is your goal must be measurable, meaning you can either write down milestones or tangibly see progress. With fitness, your measurement may be that you can run 30-minutes without stopping or in business earn an additional $500 in revenue with investments. Without a measurable aspect of your goal, you may be unable to see results, which lead to a lack of motivation.
Your goal needs to be attainable. When setting your initial goal, it should not be the result. For example, if you want to run a marathon your goal to start should not be running a marathon. Instead, your goal should be able to run a 3K to start. From there, you can increase to a 5K, then a half marathon and then you ultimately end up at a full marathon.
Attainability is important because it sets a realistic expectation and allows for tangible results.
The next criteria is to ensure that your goal is relevant, meaning it pertains to your current mission. If you are trying to lose weight, you will want your goal to be relevant to that. On the other hand, if you are starting out you want to ensure you start with a relevant goal. Do not select a goal that has nothing to do with your life mission or purpose.
Relevancy not only ensure your goal is purposeful, but you are not wasting your time. Nothing is worse than finishing a goal on to realize it was not necessary.
Lastly, ensure that any goal you set is attainable and doable in a timely manner. The purpose of a smart goal is to efficiently set and achieve your goals, promoting growth and progress. If you spend too much time on any one goal you run the risk of stagnation and loss of motivation.
Implementing SMART goals is an effective way to lay out a proper growth plan for your future. Ensuring your goals meet the SMART criteria will ensure you are using your time and energy efficiently. After you complete the first few SMART goals, you will see how effective the process is.