Tips for Goal Setting: Be S.M.A.R.T.

The key to obtaining any goal is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself. If you start out with the goal to get in the best shape of your life in 6-weeks…..guess what……you are not going to make it. Focus your goals on performance rather than winning. Frame these goals in positive ways. Be S.M.A.R.T. and set goals by following these tips:

S = Specific: Goals need to be Specific. You want to focus on a behavior that would demonstrate an accomplishment. For example, "walk 10-blocks by the end of 2-weeks" instead of "walk more." Your goal needs to be clear and stated as a result, an outcome, an accomplishment, or achievement.

M = Measurable: Goals need be to Measured. This shows proof of your success. Things that can be measured, heard, or seen include "weight loss," "phone calls made," "writing one page each day," "saying no to extra work;" instead of "a feeling" an "idea" or "a sense" of something. Use charts or activity logs to record your success.

A = Attainable: Goals need be to Attainable and within your reach. But not so difficult that you get frustrated, and not so boring that you work below your potential. A goal can be unrealistic if it is too high, or inadequate if set too low.

R = Realistic: Goals need to be Realistic, and within your grasp. Before you decide where to GO, make an assessment of where you ARE. Do not ignore your limits, but focus on your abilities, things you can do, and things you can learn to do... Are the resources necessary for your goal available? Are there outside influences preventing you from achieving your goal? How much of this is under your control, and who are the other players? Are the cost and the benefit of accomplishment reasonable? Costs can be personal as well as financial. Your commitment to a goal is greater, if there is a good cost and benefit ratio.

T = Timely: Goals need a Time Line if you are going to be motivated to achieve them. Set a specific time frame for reaching your goal. Be REALISTIC, despite the fact that you are enthusiastic. Break down the major goal into smaller goals---this is based on the time it will take to achieve each smaller goal. For example, if you want to make 20-business connections, it is better to break this down and say: " I will call 4-new people every day," than focus on the larger goal of making 20-new phone calls all at once. You want to know that your small accomplishments will lead to larger ones --- they add up! Break down goals to immediately achievable smaller goals, then short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. Then combine them into your long-term plan that will lead to your ultimate attainable goal.

A final important consideration is to ask yourself: Is there a match between my personal values and my goal? Conflict between goals and values will likely reduce the likelihood of achieving a goal. Is your heart really in it? How will you feel when you have accomplished your goal? Sounds good? Then, get out a paper and pencil and draw out your plan. Best wishes on achieving your goals!


Courtesy of Dr. Theo De Gagné - -