How to Create SMART Goals
The world is a tough place. A lot of times, it can be seen if the world is really trying to bring you own. As soon as you get ahead, it always seems like you end up two steps behind. This can be quite disheartening and can make the world seem really confusing.
However, there are ways to break this confusion down and put yourself in a position to succeed and be happy. One of the biggest ways to face the hardships of the world is through one beautiful concept- validation. Nothing feels better than doing something right and knowing it.
A sense of accomplishment and victory rushes over you, making a lot of the negative going on in your world disappear for a short period of time. Though validation can come in many forms, the hardest one to find is typically self validation. It can be hard to see the good things you are doing, especially when you do not have a scale to judge it on.
A key to self validation is having something that you can measurably accomplish. Being able to look back on the fruits of your labor and seeing progress can make you feel a lot better. Thankfully, there is a pretty simple way for you to get this self validation you need while being productive and efficient in the tasks you need to accomplish. This is through the usage of SMART goals.
SMART is actually an acronym. Though setting these types of goals is a very smart idea, the formation of the word “smart,” is actually just clever wordsmithing. A goal that is SMART is broken down into five different categories. These goals have to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely, or time-based.
Using these goals will provide a myriad of benefits in your life and they are not hard to set at all. These goals are taught at all levels of education, work, and life for the benefits they provide. School aged children are taught to set these goals to encourage growth mindsets and help them accomplish certain tasks.
Businesses use these goals to accomplish tasks and keep the whole company connected on the same trajectory and mindset. Many adults use them to keep motivated and accomplish everyday tasks. But before you start setting SMART goals, a strong understanding of the non-complex goals needs to be had, starting with how to make your goals specific.
Specific is the first part of this fun way to set goals for yourself. A lot of the terminology in these goals is pretty self-explanatory, but it is smart to go over it before you start setting these goals to ensure you are making strong goals for yourself. For a goal to be specific, the goal needs to be simple and clear for you.
This ties into the common old technique of creating a topic. You need to answer some of the 5 “W,” questions of who, what, when, where, and why. Knowing what you are doing is arguably the most important, as this is the foundation of your goal. It needs to be something you will be motivated to accomplish, so having a strong reasoning for trying to accomplish it is paramount.
It is also important to know who is going to be involved or affected so you know where support or resources may need to come from. The next most important aspect of this is the why. Why is this goal important to you? This will serve as your motivation to accomplish the task at hand and will be your driving force through the hardships of this process. After answering these questions, you should have a firm grip on what your goal should be about.
Making it specific is the next step, as it needs to be honed in. Having a very broad goal will be difficult to achieve and measure later, whereas a specific one will allow you to know when you are done and see the progress you are making towards your goal. It is also much more rewarding when you accomplish a specific goal, as the criteria to accomplish it is typically much more strenuous.
Another important part of the planning process is to make sure your goal is measurable. This is also quite simple, but very important. For a goal to be measurable, it has to have some way to track your progress and ultimate completion of a goal. For example, if you are a weightlifter who can currently bench press 100 pounds, you may set a goal of being able to bench 125 pounds.
The increase of twenty pounds is something you can physically measure and see your progress towards over time. By having a measurable goal, you may also be able to increase your dedication and motivation to accomplishing your goal. It will help you stay focused and be able to meet your deadlines, allowing you to truly see your progress as you go through your journey.
This is often one of the harder parts of setting a goal. The goal needs to be achievable. Sometimes you may feel like you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough if your goal isn’t as lofty as you may want. It may seem as if you’re underachieving, but if your goal isn’t achievable, you will end up wasting your time.
The goal needs to be realistically attainable. This goal should stress your abilities the best it can, but still be realistically accomplishable. One of the benefits with goal setting is it doesn’t have to end. You can set an achievable goal, accomplish it and gain the validation you need, then set another one to push yourself even further.
However, if the goal is unachievable, you may quickly lose dedication and motivation which may lead to negative mental self perception. To have an achievable goal, you need to have a plan on how to accomplish it while factoring in other forces and factors. Sometimes finances may constraint a goal or a certain area or climate.
Many factors can impact a goal, so taking these into account prior to starting the goal will help ensure the goal you set is accomplishable. Though it shouldn’t be easy, you should be realistic with yourself and where you are. A goal needs to be realistic in order for it to be considered smart.
For instance, if you set a goal to travel more, it may not be realistic to set your goal to visit every single country in the world in one year. It just isn’t feasibly possible for most people. One way to help with this part of the planning period is to set goals that you have complete control over. This will help limit outside factors, as others will not have control over what you can do.
For a goal to be relevant, it needs to incorporate both you and your surroundings. When deciding if a goal is realistic, ask yourself how it will impact others around you. Though a certain goal may seem great for you, your pursuit of it could negatively impact others around you. Consider others when setting your own personal goals, as there may be better times to pursue your own personal interests.
The final part of the planning process is to make sure your goal is timely. Simply put, this means your goal has to have some sort of timeline. Set a date or time for when you want to have your goal accomplished and build more deadlines around that time. How far do you want to be in a few months? How about a few weeks? What about this week?
This will give you, in essence, some checkpoints to reach throughout the process. These work to keep you motivated and measure your progress and pace over time. Having a time-bound goal is imperative to this process. Though you may not always reach your deadlines, having them set will give you a date to work for and increase your motivation when it is running a little bit low.
Setting SMART goals is a great way to make progress towards whatever you hope to accomplish in life. It is easy and fun, but also provides a lot of motivation and a sense of validation when a tough goal is accomplished.
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