Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals with a Short List

goalsWith any goal, whether it be a New Year’s Resolution or a small personal achievement, that you make, make it a SMART goal. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Using the guidelines laid out by SMART, your goal won’t be lost in translation. You will know exactly what you’re working for, how long it will take to do it, and who is responsible for your success. With this article, I will tell you more about how to make a SMART goal and how it will help you follow through.

First, let me tell you how a SMART goal is different than a regular goal. Many common New Year’s Resolutions don’t pass the SMART criteria, being too general, “I want to get in better shape,” being unmeasurable, “I want to lose weight,” or being too opened ended, “I want to quit smoking.” These flaws in most goals help to explain the low rate of success for achieving New Year’s Resolutions. SMART helps to solve these problems by laying out a very specific method in which to make your goals.

To start making a SMART goal, you need to figure out what you’re trying to achieve. Specific and measurable go hand-in-hand. If you have a specific goal, generally you can measure your success. You want to say as precisely as possible what you are ultimately working toward. Instead of simply losing weight, how much weight do you want to lose? Ten pounds? Twenty pounds?  Or, instead of generally wanting to read more, how many books a month do you want to read? One book? Two books?

Next, there is achievability. With this, you want to figure out how possible this goal is. If it is outside your achievability, most likely you will quickly become frustrated and give up. So, ask yourself is this a realistic expectation? When focusing on achievable, make sure you know your capabilities and limits. Don’t go too easy on yourself, but at the same time, don’t try to and overexert yourself. Remember, your over all well-being in spirit, mind, and body is of top importance to finding balance and happiness.

Is your goal relevant?  Is it relevant to your life priorities?  Is your goal directly relevant to your values?  As I stated in an earlier blog, once you have your values guide completed, look at your resolution, and ask yourself if your resolution fits into one of your core values. If it does, you are much more likely to accomplish your resolution as it is relevant to your true self.

Lastly, timely is simply deciding when you want to accomplish this goal by. Two months? Six months? This goes back to achievability. You don’t want to make a particularly long time table as you want to enjoy the journey and celebrate short victories along the way!  There are many resources you can use but a Certified Professional Coach helps you recognize what you really want, challenges you to be more than you thought you could be on your own, assists you to gain clarity and holds you accountable to your goals.  Today is a clean slate and a perfect time to create your SMART goals!


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