What are SMART goals and What Does SMART Stand For?
Goals are crucial for anyone trying to achieve greater success. SMART goals are a form of goal setting that defines your goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
SMART Goal Setting: Specific
Goals should be specific. Specific means having a well-defined goal with as many details as possible. Consider who, what, why, when, and where when setting your goals. For example, having a goal of getting into better shape is a general goal. While having the goal of going to the gym and doing 30 mins of cardio at least 4 times a week is more specific.
SMART Goal Setting: Measurable
Goals should be measurable. This means you should be able to track your progress. For example, the goal of wanting to get into shape is not measurable. Now if you say I want to be able to bench my body weight or I want to lose 30 pounds, those are measurable.
SMART Goal Setting: Achievable
SMART goals are goals that you can achieve. If you currently make $50K a year and you have a goal of being a millionaire by the end of the year, chances are you are not going to achieve your goal. Be realistic with yourself. You want to set yourself up for success with your goals. When forming your goals, ask yourself if it’s something you are physically and mentally capable of doing. If it’s not, then maybe you should reevaluate your goal.
SMART Goal Setting: Relevant
SMART goals should be relevant to you, your situation, and your vision. Does achieving this goal really matter to you? Is it something of importance to you? If it’s not, then you will likely not pursue this goal for very long. Use your time and energy to work on goals that matter to you. The more important it is in your life the higher your chances are of reaching your goal.
SMART Goal Setting: Time Bound
SMART goals are time-bound. This means setting a time limit on when you want to achieve your goal. Your time for achieving the goal should be achievable but you don’t want to give yourself too much time either. You want to set a time to force yourself to stick to the plan and reach your goal before the deadline.
Putting it all together, a SMART goal could be something like I will lose 30 pounds in 3 months by going to the gym at least 4 times a week and doing a minimum of 30 mins of cardio.
The importance of using SMART goals.
SMART goals give you a sense of direction on how to achieve your vision of your future. Because of the specificity of SMART goals, it’s easy to make a plan on how you are going to reach your goal. Once the goal is set you can start working your way backward from where you want to be and determine your path to achieving your goal. SMART goals also put your feet to the fire by forcing you to meet a deadline. SMART goals can keep you motivated because you can judge or see the progress you are making toward your goal.
Drawbacks of SMART Goals
One of the drawbacks of SMART goals is lack of flexibility. They are very analytical meaning they are not meant to be adjusted. Either you reach your goal, or you don’t. This type of goal setting may not always be the best for long-term goals because you can never predict what life will throw at you. When using SMART goals for long-term goals, you may want to set a time period to reevaluate the goal and adjust as necessary.
For example, if you have a goal of paying off the mortgage on your house in 15 years instead of 30, and in year 2 you get sick miss some work, and get some extensive hospital bills. This may make your goal unattainable and it may need to be readjusted based on the circumstances.
Tips for Success with SMART Goals
To succeed with any goal, you need to constantly work toward them. Writing down your goals can significantly increase the chances of success. Putting your goals in a place where you see them every day helps reinforce them in your mind. Creating a vision board can be a great way to help visualize your goals and be a constant reminder. Always reward yourself for successes no matter how small they are.
For SMART goal examples and a free SMART goal template CLICK HERE.
If you enjoyed this article you may like my article on creating a vision statement that motivates and inspires.
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