It’s that time of year again when we look back over the past 12 months and think about what we want to achieve in 2011. Some of us use this time to write goals to put down a marker of what we want to happen during the coming year. The following article gives advice as to how to make achievable goals using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.
Ever feel like your goals just don’t inspire you to take action? Is the one thing you remember when you reach your goal is how hard it was to get there? Then your goals may not be SMART!
SMART is an acronym for goals that are: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
A specific goal is simple and easy to describe. When you set goals for yourself, are they specific and precise? “I want to be happy” is not specific. “I want to live happily in Hawaii” is specific. Your personal power lies in clarity.
A measurable goal is one that has a specific outcome. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? If someone were to videotape you reaching your goal would it be obvious whether you achieved your goal or not? For example, the goal of saving $10,000 in a year is measurable. On December 31st you have either reached the goal or not. It can be easily measured.
An attainable goal is one that allows you to stretch, but is not impossible. Let’s say you want to make a million dollars. Great goal. But, if you are currently out of work or are not saving money, this goal is currently not achievable. If financial prosperity is a goal, start by getting work or saving/investing and then move on to the next attainable goal as you work towards your vision.
A relevant goal is one that has meaning for you. It is not just a good idea or a “should”. It reflects who you are and what you value as a human being. Pick something that gives you joy. If you want to lose weight connect that desire to a larger intention. Living a healthy and fit life is the larger intention that makes the weight loss goal relevant. Choose things that are important to YOU and that make a difference in your life.
A time-based goal is one that has an end date. Even if you don’t know if you can accomplish your goal in the time you’ve set for yourself set a date anyway. The mind responds to specifics. Setting a date and creating a plan or path for the goal will notify your mind you mean business!
One of the reasons that goal setting has such a bad reputation is that we often confuse a goal with a task. If you don’t experience a resounding “yes” as you create goals for yourself, then you are creating tasks. You are creating another variation of a “to-do list”. Ask yourself: “Will I be relieved when it is done?” If the answer is yes to this question, you have a task, not a goal.
Ask yourself: What do you truly want? What is really important to you? Look at what you gravitate towards naturally. This is a great place to start making SMART goals. Remember, goals are part of the process that moves you toward your dreams.
© 2010 Creating Strategies, Inc.
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