It is the dawn of a new year and like millions of other people, I’m setting goals. Not just any goals though, SMART goals. What is a SMART goal? This is my definition:
S-Specific- You need to clearly define what it is you plan to accomplish. I want to lose 20 lbs by May 1st instead of I want to lose weight.
M-Measurable/Meaningful-How will you know when you’ve completed this goal? Why do you want to accomplish this goal? How will it make you feel? I make this a two part answer because not every goal is worthy of you. That’s right. You matter and if the goal isn’t something meaningful to you then you shouldn’t waste your time chasing it.
A-Actionable- Can you break this goal down into steps? Is there some kind of guide you can refer to? This is the route you will take to achieve your goals.
R-Realistic- Is this something that you can realistically accomplish? No, you won’t be marrying a celebrity or achieving world preace. Sorry.
T-Timely- How long will it take you to achieve this goal? Some goals are short term and some are long term, but every goal should have a beginning and an end date.
Since weight loss is such a popular goal for the new year, I’ll use it as an example:
I am going to lose 20lbs by May 1st by jogging 2 miles 4 days a week.
That is the way your goals should look on paper. Now that you’ve created a goal for yourself, what should you do next?
Planning is an integral part of goal setting. You can’t reasonable expect to complete your goal unless you break it down into bite-sized pieces. This is especially true for complex or long term goals.
This year I want to have my first customer for my personal development business by March 1st. There are a tremendous amount of steps involved in that process. The only way I’ll be able to achieve my goal in that amount of time is to figure out everything I need to do to make that happen.
Proper planning will also help you stay accountable. You can actually see which steps you’ve completed and what steps you need to take next to continue progressing toward your goal.
Another important thing you should do(whenever possible) is to find an accountability partner. I know that not everyone has someone they can lean on, but that’s where the internet comes in. If you have a goal in mind, I guarantee there is someone, somewhere that either has the same goal, or has already completed that goal. You can join forums or support groups, whatever you need to do to keep yourself accountable.
Now that you know all about goal setting, what are your goals? I’d love to hear from you!