Setting Smart Goals

  • 6/17/2017 2:49:07 AM
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Setting Smart Goals – A Super Effective Goals Setting Technique S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that lays our five ingredients for effective goals setting. Smart goal setting stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Trackable (or time sensitive) goals. Setting Smart Goals That Are:
1. Specific
To ensure effective goal setting we don't want to frame our goals in general terms. We want to be specific.
Let's say that your general goal is to feel better about yourself. This is a great intention to have. Now let's turn it into an actual goal. The first step will be to make it more specific.
From aiming to feel better about ourselves we may narrow it down to feeling better about our body. And digging even further, we might come up with wanting to feel better about our appearance or weight. Now we have a specific target - we want to lose weight. We want to feel better about our appearance.
Now that we are more specific about what we want, it's time to move on to the next step of smart goal setting: we want our goal to be measurable in some way.

2. Measurable
So our specific goal is to lose weight and to feel better about our appearance. In order to turn this into a measurable goal we need to specify exactly how we are going to know that we have achieved our goal. We need to set ourselves some kind of measurable target to aim for.
One measurable goal you could aim for is a specific weight target. Say you currently weigh 150 pounds and you want to lose 20 pounds. Your specific, measurable goal, could be to weigh-in at 130 pounds. Another measurable target for achieving the same goal of losing weight and feeling better about your appearance is fitting into an old pair of jeans that you've been keeping in your closet for 20 years.
The more enticing you can make the target you are aiming for in your 'mind's eye' - the better. The actual words you use in setting your smart goals aren't incidental. They will become the very backbone to your motivation. Use words to paint a vivid and palpable picture to submit to your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind will let you know you are are getting it right when you start feeling truly excited about achieving your goal. This means that your subconscious has taken hold of it and that you can actually see yourself at the finish line. Using words to paint vivid and 'juicy' imagery will excite your imagination and tap the wellsprings of motivation deep inside you.

3. Attainable
The next step in setting smart goals and objectives is to make sure that your smart goal is attainable. Your goal should be a stretch - but you don't want to stretch too far. By overextending yourself, you can end up with a painfully stretched 'muscle', lamenting about, yet another, goal-setting disappointment.
Given the right circumstances, and the right amount of time, almost any goal is attainable, if you want it badly enough. You need to know yourself and also to have a good idea of what attaining your goal will actually require. What is an attainable goal for you will depend on a clear headed assessment and definition of the next two parameters of smart goal setting: realistic and time sensitive.

4.Realistic
This one can be tricky. Anyone who has ever had a dream, ambition or desire that was bigger than 'their station' has heard the words, 'you need to be realistic.' Bang! Your dreams, desires or vision shot down. This is not the definition of 'being realistic' as referred to here.
Being realistic, in the context of setting smart goals, is something that only you can determine. It can't come from the outside. Being realistic in this case means taking an honest look at two things:

 Your level of will and motivation. How badly do you want this? Are you willing to do what it takes for as long as it takes? Are you willing to pay the price? If your answer to these questions is a sober, yet resounding yes, then your commitment and motivation are there. Whether you believe it is actually possible or not, you have decided that it is unequivocally worth trying for.

 Objective circumstances. Do current circumstances allow you to pursue your goal in the way you want? If yes, then your goal is realistic. What happens if you determine that your circumstances will most likely prevent you from pursuing your goal to its conclusion despite your strong motivation?
In this case you have two choices. You can modify your goal to make it realistic for the circumstances you are in. Or, you can choose to modify your circumstances to accommodate your goal. Either way, you know that you have made a comprehensive assessment of your smart goal and are satisfied it's realistic.

5. Time Sensitive
 (or Trackable)Finally, setting smart goals and objectives means that your goals should have a time frame. Knowing that you want to eventually weigh 130 pounds, or that you want to fit into the jeans of your youth, doesn't necessarily mean that you are ready to do something about it today.
Strong motivation will come from giving your goal a definite deadline. There needs to be a sense of urgency to your goal, as well as the excitement that comes from knowing that the results are eminent.
Let's say that your aim is to weigh 130 pounds in 3 months from today. Putting all of the smart goal criteria together, your completed goal statement might sound something like this, "It is the first of April, I am standing on the scale and the dial is showing 130 pounds or less." The 'jeans version' of this goal could be, "It is the first of April, I am standing in front of the mirror, fitting comfortably into my old jeans and looking fabulous!!"

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