Why It’s Important To Be SMART When Setting Goals

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What Does it Mean To Be SMART?

Goals are an essential part of both life and business, providing one with a sense of motivation, direction, focus, and clarity. When you set yourself a goal, you are giving yourself something to aim for. Certain kinds of goals, SMART goals can be used to help one’s decision-making. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. To be SMART is to have a goal that incorporates all of the criteria, helping one to focus their efforts and ultimately the chance of them achieving a particular goal.

What Is A SMART Goal?

What exactly does each part of the acronym mean in detail? Let’s go through them all.

To Be SMART is to be:

  • Specific – this relates to being clear, well-defined and unambiguous in your approach.
  • Measurable – it is important to have criteria that you can measure so that you know how you are progressing towards accomplishing your goal.
  • Achievable – this is being true to reality. One needs to set a goal that is actually attainable, or rather not completely impossible to achieve.
  • Realistic – the goal needs to be within your reach and highly relevant to what you what to do in your life.
  • Timely – when you have a clear set timeline, this can make your goal achievable. One needs to include a starting date and a set date for the target. A certain sense of urgency will be created which will help motivate one to achieve their goal.

Being Specific

When one has a specific goal in mind, this increases the chance that it will be accomplished. If someone was to write my essay for me, they would need to know when it was due. So how do you make a goal specific? In order to do this, five questions need to be considered and answered.

  1. Who will be involved in the goal?
  2. What is it that I want to achieve?
  3. Where will I want to achieve my goal?
  4. When would I want to achieve my goal?
  5. Why would I want to achieve my goal?

Let’s look at an illustrated example. One could have a general goal such as “ I want to lose some weight”. A much more specific goal could read, “ I want to join a gym in the town centre, train five days a week and become a lot healthier.”

Having a Measurable Goal

It is important to have some criteria that you can measure. If you don’t have this criterion, it is not going to be possible for you to determine how much you are progressing and if you are on track. Make a goal measurable by asking yourself some simple questions.

  1. How many or how much?
  2. What will the indicator of progress be?
  3. When do I know that I have achieved my goal?

As an example of building upon the goal  mentioned above, one could add the following sentence to their goal, “every month I will aim to lose 2 kg of weight.”

Having an Achievable Goal

Goals cannot be far-fetched, they must be attainable and achievable so that you can realize the ways to work towards your goal. You want to have a goal where you can be challenged somewhat and also a goal that is well defined so that you can achieve it correctly. There are a number of questions to ask yourself.

  1. Do I have the capability to achieve my goal?
  2. Do I have the resources or capacity to achieve my goal?
  3. Have other people successfully achieve this goal before?

Being Realistic

To be SMART is to be realistic about your goal and wondering if it can be realistically achieved given the time and resources available. If you believe truly that you can achieve your goal, this is a great step towards a SMART approach. Ask yourself a number of questions.

  1. Is my goal realistic?
  2. Will I be able to reach my goal?
  3. Can I commit to achieving my goal?
  4. Are there any time and resource constraints?

Having a Timely Goal

It is important to have a sense of time, such as when your goal is going to start and finish. If you have no time constraints then there won’t be as much urgency and so less motivation for you to achieve your goal. There are two good questions that you can ask yourself.

  1. What is the deadline for my goal?
  2. When do I want to have my goal finished?

If we want to build on the weight loss goal above, one could incorporate the following sentence into their goal: “when it reaches September, I will have realized my goal if I have lost 1 kg of weight over one month”.

It’s Important to Be SMART

By now you should have an idea of how to set yourself a SMART goal, and hopefully, you will have realized the importance of it too. Realize your potential, don’t set yourself up for failure, make long-lasting positive changes and be the best person you can be. With a SMART goal, you can set yourself up for success by applying the tools we’ve discussed above. This method pushes you, gives you a sense of urgency, direction and most importantly it will help you reach your goal.

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