Creating SMART Goals
SMART is an acronym for the 5 steps of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely based goals. By using SMART goals, many businesses to go beyond the realm of fuzzy goal setting into an actionable plan for results.
Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:
*Who: Who is involved?
*What: What do I want to accomplish?
*Where: Identify a location.
*When: Establish a time frame.
*Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as:
How will I know when it is accomplished?
Attainable: When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.
Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals, you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
Realistic: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. Nevertheless, be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force.
Timely : A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
By using SMART goals effectively:
- you have a clear focus and vision
- goals help you control your future
- they give you a sense of purpose
- Goals permit you to focus your energy
- They enable you to be positive in your outlook
- Goals afford you to be more motivated and greater enthusiasm
- Goals increase desire, passion and motivation.
- They enable you to overcome any difficulty or obstacle
- They reduce doubt and procrastination
- Goals make life more fun and give you direction and certaintySo, using Smart Goal Setting, how do go about setting realistic, achievable goals for yourself?