Have you ever set a goal for yourself only to find out that you have been unable to achieve it? Or have you achieved a goal, but it didn’t bring you the satisfaction or success you were hoping for? If so, it is possible that you were not setting “SMART” goals.
SMART goals are popular tools used for setting and achieving goals. The acronym SMART stands for;
- Relevant, and
By following this framework, you can set goals that are clear, concise, achievable, and aligned with your overall objectives. In this post, we’ll explain the five components of SMART goals and offer some tips for setting and achieving them.
The Five Components of Smart Goals
Here are the five components that make up a SMART goal.
A specific goal is a clear and well-defined goal that answers the questions of what, why and how. What you want to accomplish, why it’s important, and how you plan on achieving it.
For example, saying “I want to lose at least 10 pounds in 3 months” is more specific than “I want to lose weight.”
A measurable goal is a goal you set that has quantifiable progress that you are able to track. This helps you not only stay motivated but also see the progress you’re making. In the weight loss example above, the goal is measurable because it specifies the amount of weight I intend to lose and the time frame in which it should be achieved.
An attainable goal is a goal you set that is realistic and achievable given your current resources and circumstances. It is important to set goals that stretch you, but they should still be within reach. If a goal is too difficult or unrealistic, it is very likely that you may become discouraged and give up.
A relevant goal is that goal which is aligned with your overall objectives and values. It is important to set goals that are meaningful to you and that will help you move closer to your long-term goals.
A time-bound goal is a goal that has a specific deadline for completion and this deadline helps you stay focused and motivated, as you have a clear target to work towards.
Tips for Setting Smart Goals
Make a list of your goals
Before you start setting specific goals, it is very important to take some time to reflect on what you want to achieve. Make a list of your long-term goals and consider what you want to accomplish in the short-term that will help you move closer to your long-term objectives.
Prioritize your goals
Once you have a list of your goals all set, it is important to prioritize them. This will help you focus on what is most important and also ensure that you are making progress towards your most important objectives.
Break down large goals into smaller, more manageable steps
Larger goals can seem overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. By breaking down large goals into smaller and more manageable steps, you can make progress more easily and stay motivated. For example, if your goal is to write a book, you could break it down into smaller steps such as outlining the book, writing a certain number of pages per week, and finding an editor to review your work.
Set deadlines for achieving your goals
Deadlines help you stay focused and motivated, as they give you a specific target to work towards. When setting deadlines, be sure to allow enough time to complete each step without making the deadline too far in the future.
Consider any potential obstacles and plan for how to overcome them
It is important to be realistic about any potential obstacles that may arise and to have a plan in place for how to overcome them. For example, if your goal is to exercise regularly, you may need to consider any potential obstacles and plan for how to overcome them.
If your goal is to exercise regularly, you may need to plan for how you will overcome potential obstacles such as a busy schedule or lack of access to a gym. You could try fitting in shorter workouts at home, finding a gym with flexible hours, or exercising with a friend to hold each other accountable.
Examples of Smart Goals
Here are few examples of SMART goals:
“I want to lose at least 10 pounds in 3 months by exercising regularly 3 times per week and eating a healthy diet.” This goal is specific (losing 10 pounds in 3 months), measurable (tracking weight loss and exercise frequency), attainable (losing 10 pounds in 3 months is realistic with regular exercise and a healthy diet), relevant (improving health and fitness is important to the person setting the goal), and time-bound (the goal has a specific deadline of 3 months).
“I want to increase my sales by at least 20% in the next quarter by attending industry conferences and networking events, and by implementing a new lead generation strategy.” This goal is specific (increasing sales by 20%), measurable (tracking sales data), attainable (a 20% increase in sales is realistic with the identified actions), relevant (increasing sales aligns with the overall objectives of the business), and time-bound (the goal has a specific deadline of the next quarter).
SMART goals are useful tools for setting and achieving your objectives. By following the five components of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound, you can set goals that are clear, achievable, and aligned with your overall objectives. Remember to make a list of your goals, prioritize them, break down large goals into smaller steps, set deadlines, and plan for potential obstacles. Start setting your own SMART goals today and regularly review and adjust them as needed.