Now that it’s September and everyone is back to their regular routine (work, school), this is a good time to set your goals. Not setting goals is like not having a map to reach your destination. You know what you want to achieve but you don’t have a set goal to follow, to track your progress and to be accountable by progressing through the steps towards achieving your goals.
Why Is It So Important to Set Goals?
Goal setting provides us with focus. It gives you vision. You confirm your vision of what steps you need to take to accomplish what you want to accomplish and where you want to be in a certain amount of time. Some goals may be difficult to accomplish but visualizing, defining and planning a goal will guide you and motivates you to accomplish your goal.
How to Set Your Goals? Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym. The letters stand for the following:
Specific: Setting a specific goal motivates you more to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Being specific involves asking the following six questions:
Who is involved?
What do you want to accomplish?
Where do you want to accomplish the goal?
When do you want the goal to be accomplished?
Which: requirements and challenges
Why do you want to accomplish the goal? Purpose? Benefits? Reasons?
Measurable: How are you going to measure your progress towards your goal.
Develop a process showing the different steps or mini-goals required to reach the final goal. Set dates for each step, track your progress and celebrate what you have accomplished so far.
To determine your goal, ask yourself how much? How many? How will you know when you have accomplished your goal?
Attainable: Identify your most important goals. Then identify the steps you need to take to accomplish your goal. Set a timeframe and a target date. When you list your goals and the steps required to accomplish them, you have a “road map” towards where you want to be – the destination. What skills, abilities, and financing do you need to achieve your goals?
Realistic: A goal should represent an objective towards what you are willing and able to work. Only you can assess how important and how realistic your goal is. The more important and realistic you determine your goal to be the more likely you will actually accomplish what you want to do.
Timely: Setting your goal should include a target completion date. Just saying that you want to accomplish the goal by “someday” isn’t good enough. Setting an actual date keeps you on track and makes you accountable for the progress towards accomplishing your goal.
The letter "T" in the S.M.A.R.T. acronym can also stand for Tangible:
Tangible: This means achieving your goal is tangible when you experience one of the senses such as sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. You have a better chance of achieving your goal when it is specific, measurable and ultimately, attainable.