What Are SMART Goals?
In order to offer some additional help for those who’ve made New Year’s resolutions, and to build on my previous post, ‘New Year, New Me?‘, I decided to create a post about SMART goals. In my previous post I talked about making New Year’s resolutions into goals instead, but what you really should do is make those goals, SMART goals.
SMART goals are designed to turn what you want to change or achieve into well thought out and planned goals. Creating these well-planned goals should make them easier to achieve, especially when compared to the usual New Year’s resolutions.
This is because too many people see the changes they want to make and the achievements they’d like to achieve, as nothing more than hopes and dreams. But these hopes and dreams are attainable if you make them SMART goals instead.
How To Create SMART Goals
If you want your goal(s) to be achievable, then you need to make your goal(s) as specific as possible. The clearer you make your desired outcome, the easier it’ll be to plan to achieve it, and the easier it’ll be for you to achieve. Ask yourself, “What exactly do I want to accomplish?” and “What will I need to do to achieve it?”
In order for you to be able to track your progress and to know when you’ve achieved your goal, you need to make your goals measurable. Again, ask yourself, “What is the best way to measure my progress?” and “How will I know when I’ve achieved my goal?”
For example, you could break down your goal(s) into smaller steps. That way when you accomplish each step, you’ll be able to see the progress you’ve made.
This one is fairly self-evident. You need to make sure the goal(s) you’re creating for yourself is actually achievable. So again, ask yourself, “Are the goals I’m setting for myself realistic and achievable?”
Also, you should make sure you have the necessary skills and resources to achieve your goal(s). If you don’t, then change your goal(s) so that you can first gain the relevant skills and resources needed first. Then circle back to your original goal once you’ve achieved these.
The more relevant your goal is to you and your broader needs and wants, the better motivated you’ll be to try to achieve them. Ask yourself, “Why is this goal and its outcome important to me?”
You could also ask yourself, “Is this the right time to pursue this goal?” Sometimes when we decided to try to achieve our goal is significant. For example, if you’re already under a lot of stress, then maybe pursuing a new goal isn’t the right thing to do, and self-care would be a better endeavour.
Every goal needs a realistic target date. Giving yourself a deadline will help you focus on achieving your goal(s). Without setting some sort of timeframe you’ll find that you’ll start to procrastinate and will lose motivation to try to achieve your goal(s). So for the last time, ask yourself, “What is a realistic end date for my goal?” and “What are the realistic timeframes for each measurable step towards my end goal?”
What Else Can Help With Your SMART Goals?
There are a few things you can do to help you achieve your SMART goals, which I’ve listed below. If you can think of any that I’ve missed, then please add them in the comments below.
Write your goal down
Writing down your SMART goals will not only help you to visualise it better, but also allow you to keep track of your goal(s). Writing your goal(s) and how you plan to achieve them is an important part of creating your specific goal(s), the steps needed to achieve your goal(s), measuring your progress, and keeping to your time frame.
There are plenty of SMART goal templates available online, just type “SMART goal template” into a search engine and look for one that suits your needs. Or, if you’re feeling creative, then make your own template.
Set regular check-ins
By setting yourself regular check-ins, you’ll be able to keep track of your progress towards your goal(s). It’ll also help to stop your procrastinating or getting distracted. You can do this by simply setting calendar reminders on your phone to check and review your SMART goals.
Celebrate your wins, big and small
A good way to keep yourself motivated is to create a list of healthy rewards and set progress points for which to reward yourself once you’ve reached them. This will be easier if you’ve already broken down your goal(s) into several steps. If you’ve created steps, then you can reward yourself once each step has been completed.
Can you make it fun
The more fun you make achieving your goal, the better motivated it’ll be for you to keep pursuing it. Having healthy rewards at different stages in your progress can help, but that’s not the same as making the goal enjoyable to do. So if you can, try to create fun ways to achieve each step towards your goal.
If you find that part of your goals plan doesn’t work, then change it. Sometimes we don’t know if something will work or not until we try, and if we find it doesn’t work, then replace it with something else. Your SMART goals shouldn’t be rigidly stuck too if something within it is stopping your progress. Thus, examine and adapt so you can achieve your goal.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences with SMART goals or how to improve their outcomes in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up to my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications of new posts by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom left corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.