Setting a goal might help you envision and achieve your desired outcome when trying to do anything. But unfortunately, people often do not consider proper planning before venturing into any project. This is one of the reasons why their outcome can not be guaranteed. But when you are using the SMART goals technique, it makes it possible to measure your progress toward a certain objective. So whether you want to increase your finance, build a successful business or career, or even lose weight, develop attainable and measurable objectives.
What are Smart Goals
The SMART method allows you to set concrete goals and stick to the schedule. It is simply some parameters that are established to ensure that your objectives are attainable within a certain time frame. The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time.
How to Set Smart Goals
S for Specific:
Your goal should be as specific as possible. It must be detailed, focused, and well written. If an outside person reads it, they should immediately identify what you want to achieve. Avoid at all costs generalities such as: “I want to have better grades” “I want to succeed in my school year.” These goals are not specific. Indeed, what is it to get better grades? What does it mean to succeed in your school year? Instead, your goal should be as concrete as possible. A specific objective indicates:
- what you want to achieve;
- who is responsible for it;
- when the objective will be achieved.
M for Measurable:
You must verify whether you have achieved or not your smart goals. It must be quantifiable. You need to be able to answer the following question: “How will I know that I have achieved my goal? Make sure you check and measure what you’ve accomplished and see that it fits your goals. Don’t just stick a number to the end goal; quantify the intermediate steps. For example, if you want to increase your sales figures to €120,000 per year, set a monthly target of €10,000 if possible. Then, study the sales figures each month, or schedule a periodic interview with your accountant.
A for Achievable:
Determine whether or not your established smart goals are realistic after laying out a precise strategy. It’s important to think about how long it will take you, what hurdles you could face, and how you’ll judge your progress. The more likely you are to persist in your efforts, the more realistic and reachable your objective should be. For example, assuming you have a turnover of €10,000 per month, it would hardly be realistic to want to go to €100,000 per month. Your goal must be ambitious and achievable at the same time.
R for Relevant or Reasonable, or Realistic:
Don’t set goals that are impossible to achieve; by doing so, you may not create smart goals. Set the bar a little high, be an optimistic realist, but don’t lie to yourself. Otherwise, the disappointment of not reaching your goal will only be brutal. For example, you currently have an average of 8/20, and you want in a month to get an average of 18/20. Is this goal really within your reach? Don’t worry, and you have time because there’s no point in rushing. Also, the goals you set should be relevant to your business, its mission, and its vision. So ask yourself if they are an added value and if they will contribute to the long-term expansion of your business.
T for Time:
Set a clear deadline. It is important that you set an ambitious but realistic deadline for each goal. You will avoid procrastination due to deadlines that are too vague. Time pressure helps to work in a more targeted way. This part of the SMART goals criteria helps prevent everyday tasks from prioritizing your longer-term goals. A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
Setting Smart Goals in Various Areas
A great business relies heavily on goal setting, but did you know that creating goals may benefit you in so many other areas of your life? Think about where you want to be in six months, a year, and five years. You can achieve more if only you set smart goals to achieve your targets. Here are some areas that you need to set smart goals;
This is what people think of when they set goals. So these are the first things that come to mind when you think about your goals, among the different areas of your life. Career goals include:
- Have a promotion
- Change positions in the same profession
- Changing careers
- Improve your communication
- Get a specific prize/reward
- Start your own business
- Find a small side activity to make more money
- Become an expert in branch X or Y
- Increase your creativity
- Earn more money for you and your business
Here is another well-known area. Many people want to make more money and are willing to take their time to get there. To achieve your financial goals, you’ll need to budget, change your spending habits, save as much as possible, and fortunately, make more money. Financial objectives include:
- Contribute to retirement
- Become a homeowner
- Repay your home loan
- Any major purchase
- Have money set aside in case of an emergency
- No longer having debts
- Save enough money to change jobs and do what you love (even if it pays you less)
Personal goals are the ones that will make you a better person. This is not a value judgment. For example, knowing only one language is not a problem. But if you feel that you need to learn another language, then this will become a goal that will allow you to improve. Personal goals include:
- Learn a foreign language
- Write a book
- Learn to read faster
- Learn new skills
- Read more books/articles on a topic of your choice
- Create a blog or online course
- Improve your body language/self-confidence
- Start a morning routine
- Improve your behavior in certain situations
- Travel/Visit certain countries or destinations
Educational objectives are linked to learning for different reasons. For example, suppose you are still in the school/university curriculum; learning is essential to embark on the career you have decided on. But after-school educational goals mostly focus on what you need to know for your career/job/future job.
Common objectives in this area are:
- Keep your vital signs in average (blood pressure, cholesterol)
- Staying slim and active
- Playing sports regularly
- Achieving a fitness goal
- Keep your immune system at its maximum potential
- Sleep enough at night to be fit during the day
- Live forever. Or at least live in good health until you die
What can you do to give meaning to your life? These may be religious goals or contribute to society or the world at large. This can include anything beyond yourself and those around you. The wisest prophet that ever lived documented in the Holy Scripture that says, “But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds, they stand (Isaiah 32:8).” Spiritual goals can be:
- Volunteering regularly
- Praying in a place of worship
- Be more attentive to the world around you
- Giving lessons to a student
- Meditate daily
- Giving money to the needy
- Take a little more interest in your impact on the environment
The relationship goals are pretty clear to everyone. These are the goals you set for yourself towards those around you and your friends mainly. Some relational objectives:
- Meet friends / Hang out with friends regularly
- Keeping your time for your children/spouse
- Have more free time
- Spending more time with your family
- Find your other half
- Having children
- Saving for your kids’ goals
- Maintain a good relationship with your parents
In conclusion, achieving targets in various aspects of your life requires setting smart goals. You will also need to write down the goal and make it plain on tablets so that whoever reads it may understand it clearly (Habakkuk 2:2-3). It’s a good thing to have aspirations. Be confident, in your ability to make your goals a reality through careful consideration, forethought, and dedication. Take charge of your life and pursue your aspirations.