As you most likely already know, goal setting is important. You need big goals but your goals should also be SMART. SMART is an acronym, the letters stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Sometimes, you may see actionable or attainable instead of achievable and realistic instead of relevant.
If you create a smart goal, you have created a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, and Timely.
S – Stands for specific, which means that your goal needs to be spelled out very precisely. Using language that leaves no doubt as to what the goal is, why you want to achieve the goal, and how you will get there is very important. If you are not able to be detailed in your description of the goal, it will be hard to meet it. Take the time to do this part right.
M – Stands for measurable, which means that you should be able to use this as a metric for which to determine success. If your goal can’t be quantified, then it’s not a real goal and you won’t know how to tell when you’ve succeeded. An example of a measurable goal is something like: “I want to add 100 dollars per week of income to our bank by writing five 500-word articles each week for a life coach.”
A – There are different things that “a” can stand for but it’s usually actionable, attainable or achievable. The preference to really get something good done is to make your goal actionable, meaning something where you can do something for each day that will eventually result in an accomplished goal. Goals should also be achievable or you will only get frustrated. You should set big goals but it is important that you believe that you can achieve the goal, or at least get close. Make sure that you have the resources, knowledge and time required. Trying to achieve impossible goals will just make you frustrated.
R – This can stand for realistic or relevant, and either or both are important and are true. Your goals should be relevant to your life’s vision and match with your values. Other people’s goals may not be suitable for you. Make sure that the goals you set are align with the direction you want your life and career to take. Inconsistent goals will waste your time.
T – Stands for timely. If you don’t set a time limit, you may never get started. A tough but not impossible deadline will force you to take action. Make sure to give yourself enough time to achieve the goal, as long as you keep working on getting closer to your goal. But don’t give yourself too much time, which easily becomes an excuse for low performance.
Once you have written down your goals, check that they are SMART goals. If not, adjust the wording to make sure that the goals are SMART compliant.