Goals provide you with direction and lead you to success. But, to be effective and achievable, goals should be smart.
Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and ends with a lot of hard work. The SMART process is an effective way to set and meet your goals.
Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal, answer the five “W” questions:
- Who: Who is involved?
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Where will I accomplish the goal?
- When: When will I work on my goal and what is a realistic time frame for reaching my goal?
- Why: What are the reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal?
Measurable: Choose goals that have results you can measure. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates and experience the exhilaration of achievement.
Achievable: Think about what you can honestly achieve. Goal setting is a good way to push yourself beyond your current limits. So pick a goal that requires some effort, but choose a goal that is within reach.
Rewarding: It feels great to reach a goal, but find extra ways to reward yourself along the way. Plan rewards ahead of time so you have something to look forward to.
Timely/Trackable/Tangible: A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. Keeping track of your progress will help you stay motivated. A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of your senses; taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing.
Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity not just a means to an end.