Goal setting is an essential part of life. We all need goals to help illuminate the path to our hopes and dreams. They help to invoke a more visceral, tangible and viable path to what we want in life. When we write goals, they become more real.
They help us visually adopt what we want from life, allowing us to provide some measurable metrics of the progress we make along the way. A lot of people lose their lives, like a homeless puppy. They go from day to day, week to week, month to month and even year to year with no concrete direction for their lives. They do not lead their lives in the right direction, because without goals that are set in the right way, they are not even clear what that direction is.
We need goals in our lives, just as much as a captain needs a compass to navigate the high seas. If you are tired of not setting goals the right way or only setting them once a year, then something is missing from the recipe. If there are not all the ingredients and the right measures are not taken, how can we say that we really want something, but that we continually don't do what it takes to achieve it? Smart in Smart Goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Limit. Defining these parameters in relation to your goal helps ensure that your goals are achievable within a specified time frame.
This mnemonic acronym was originally introduced by George T. in a November 1981 publication in an issue of Management Review. The first step to configure SMARTER Objectives must be specific. The more specific you are about your goals, the better and more able you will be to achieve them no matter what method you use.
This means that not only do you say that you want to make more money or lose more weight, but you have to say exactly how much money you want to gain or how much weight you want to lose. You have to give it a real and exact figure. Why is it so important? Well, in goal setting, to make it visceral to the mind and clearer, you have to be able to quantify that goal. The second step is setting goals that are meaningful enough for you that you can go out and do whatever it takes to achieve them. This is the “why” in goal setting that I discussed in a previous post.
When your goals have deep enough meaning for you, you'll do whatever it takes to achieve them. This doesn't have to do with vanity or superficial reasons, but rather with deeper, life-changing reasons why you want to achieve something. The third step is setting goals that are achievable. Now, there is certainly a school of thought that says you can achieve what you want when you want. However, when goals are set - especially when it comes to short-term goals (i.e., within 1 year) - make sure they are attainable. The fourth step is setting goals that are relevant.
When you set goals that are relevant, you have to go deep inside and really understand what you want out of life. If one of your core values is freedom, then setting goals that have you tied to a desk most of the year won't help you live a full life. The fifth step is ensuring that your objectives are time-bound. You have to set an exact date when you plan to achieve these goals. Focus on goals that are in 3-month intervals.
If you plan to achieve a 50-pound weight loss in a year, divide it into 3-month intervals - that's 12.5 pounds every three months. When your goals have a time limit, they are measurable and you should be accountable by measuring those goals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. How close are you to achieving your goals? How much further did you get away from achieving your goals? If you don't make your goals time-bound and measurable,... Setting SMARTER Goals helps lay a solid and concrete foundation for our hope and our dreams and the things we want.
They help steer the ship of our lives through stormy and rough waters through the channels of struggle and up to the shores of achievement. Remember: Your goals should not be designed with the idea of succeeding to be happy but rather with a happy success.