When I first learned about setting goals I was taught the SMART method. Looking back on it I wonder why I tried to set goals any other way?
I encourage you to read this with a open mind and to use it with any of the goals you want to reach.
So lets start with what SMART stands for:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do.
Specific is the What, Why, and How of the SMART model.
WHAT are you going to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build etc.
WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
HOW are you going to do it? (By…)
Ensure the goals you set is very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to make or money or be wealthier, set a specific goal to increase your income by $10,000 a month or to start a business part time, 2-4 hours a a day while working your JOB to create income to build up and replace your JOB.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. In the broadest sense, the whole goal statement is a measure for the project; if the goal is accomplished, then there is success. However, there are usually several short-term or small measurements that can be built into the goal.
Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. How will you see when you reach your goal? Be specific! “I want to make an extra $10,000 a month on my own before my birthday” shows the specific target to be measure. “I want to be wealthy opr debt free” is not as measurable.
Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goals.
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop that attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. Your begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it’s too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best.
A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. For instance, if you aim to gain an extra $100,000 in the next week most likely that is not attainable with your current methods, But setting a goal to gain $10.000 a month over the next year is more attainable for you. Knowing someone and working with others who are doing this as well can help create The feeling of success which helps you to remain motivated.
This is not a synonym for “easy.” Realistic, in this case, means “do-able.” It means that the learning curve is not a vertical slope; that the skills needed to do the work are available; that the project fits with the overall strategy and goals of the organization. A realistic project may push the skills and knowledge of the people working on it but it shouldn't’t break them.
Devise a plan or a way of getting there which makes the goal realistic. The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment. A goal of never taking the chance on yourself by spending money on your growth, development or your future may not be realistic for a true entrepreneur, someone who desires freedom. But finding a business that is more suitable to your passion, one that is lucrative is more realistic.
Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!
Set a time frame for the goal: for next week, in three months, by January 1st 2012. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.
If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now.
Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.
Everyone will benefit from goals and objectives if they are SMART.
SMART, is the instrument to apply in setting your goals and objectives.
To your success