SETTING SMART GOALS
SMART goals are one of the most well-known strategies in goal setting, and for good reason. SMART goals allow you to create clarity around your goals and make them real by keeping a few important factors in mind.
Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Specific goals help provide clarity around your goal. “I want to lose weight” means that you would be happy if you lost one pound, whereas “I want to lose 10 pounds” is much or specific and keeps you focused exactly what you want to accomplish. When being specific with your goals, think about things such as:
- Why is this goal important to you?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- Who is involved?
- Which resources will be required or are limited to reach it?
- Where does it need to happen (if applicable)?
Your goals should be measurable to allow you to track progress and stay motivated. Making your goals measurable also lets you know when you have achieved your goal.
While goals are meant to stretch our capacities and help us grow, they should also be achievable. Take note of anything that may limit or obstruct you from reaching your goal, including education, finances, experience, or qualifications.
Relevant goals are the ones that matter now, and this can be the hardest piece of setting a SMART goal. You need to ensure that the goal is important to achieve and also aligns with your other relevant goals.
For example, having a goal to deadlift 500 pounds and having a goal to run a 5:00 mile are both great goals to have and maybe equally as important to you, but whether they align with each other needs to be taken into account. Completing both of these goals during the same time may prove difficult. A goal should match and fall into your other goals, needs, and priorities.
There’s a saying that says, “The difference between a wish and a goal is a deadline.” All goals should be time-bound, providing some criteria for urgency and importance. When there is a deadline on a goal, we are able to focus rather than allow daily obligations to take over and our focus to drift.