How To Set SMART Goals
When you want to achieve something in your life, it’s very effective to set up a goal. It will help you in visualizing the success. While using SMART goal strategy, it will help you in setting some realistic and specific steps that will help you in achieving your goal. Here we are going to discuss how to set smart goals, but before that;
What are SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym used to explain the procedure of setting up a goal. The acronym stands for;
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time Bound
It helps you in setting your goal that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.
Ultimately, this will help you in setting clear timelines, eliminating guessing in work with proper accountability, making easier to track progress and identifying any missed opportunities. Lastly, it will help you in evaluating your progress and what actions will take you to your goal.
Why it is important to set SMART goals?
Setting SMART goal is important because it makes sure that the goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. Using this method, you will increase your chances to achieve your goals.
How to set SMART goals?
1. S – Specific
If you want your goal to be effective, it should specific. You need to be very clear about what you actually want to accomplish. Otherwise, you will not be able to focus on your efforts because may be you will be exerting your efforts in wrong direction.
A specific goal should answer the question like
- What I want to accomplish?
- Why is it important for me?
- Who is involved and responsible for it?
- What steps are needed to achieve it?
- Which resources are involved?
- Which limits are involved?
By answering such questions you will you go in depth about what you are aiming for.
Before using specific standard: I want to get better in running
After using specific standard: I want to increase my running speed
2. M – Measurable
After specifying your goal, now quantifying goals is very important step. Now, it is time to have an evaluation of how you will take some actions to measure them. Because it will help you in tracking your progress and staying motivated during the whole process.
Keeping a check on your progress will help you staying focused on your task, meeting the deadlines, and having a feel of excitement that you are getting closer to your goal. It can be like tracking your time it might take to achieve your goal.
Before using specific and measurable standard: I will increase my running speed
After using specific and measurable standard: I would like to increase my running speed from 5 mph to 8 mph. I want to measure my progress by taking speed test that shows the increase in my speed.
3. A – Achievable
After setting your goal specific and measurable, now, this point is a reality checkpoint for you, either your goal is achievable or not. Keeping in mind, how long it might take, and the hurdles you can face during the progress.
Your goal should be realistic to be successful. The more realistically achievable your goal is, there is a high chance of you staying motivated, keep working towards it and don’t lose focus from it.
It is also related to first two steps. When your goal is specifically measurable, then it is more likely to be achievable because it will allow you to answer the question that how you will achieve you goal while making progress towards it.
Before using achievable standard: I will increase my running speed from 5 mph to 15 mph
After using achievable standard: I would like to increase my running speed from 5 mph to 8 mph. I can achieve this goal by taking small incremental steps in increasing my running speed.
4. R – Relevant
In this section, you have to think about the bigger picture. Here you will have to answer that why are you setting this goal? Does it matter to you? Whether it aligns with other relevant goals.
When your goal is having relevance, it is directly related to any skill development, personal development or professional development, that you want to improve.
Setting any milestone, or taking steps or actions you might take to achieve your goal, it should have a direct impact on your progress.
Before using relevant standard: I would like to increase my running speed, so I can get fit
After using relevant standard: I would like to increase my running speed so I can get fit, play football better and run a 100 meter race in my school competition
5. T – Time Bound
Time bound mean having a timeline set for progressing towards your goal and also how long it might take to achieve the final result. The timeline should be realistic, that will help you achieve your goal in set period of time.
For every goal there should be a target date, a deadline set and something to do within that deadline. This will help you in better managing your day to day tasks that can take priority over a long term goal that you want to achieve.
Before using time bound standard: I will increase my running speed of 5 mph to 8 mph.
After using time bound standard: I would like to increase my running speed from 5 mph to 10 mph within one month, so that I can win my 100 meter race competition in school.
Tips for SMART goals
Here are some tips and suggestions on how to set SMART goals;
1. Pick goal that is important
Your goals should motivate you. When you have a strong interest in a certain goal, then it is likely that you will be more motivated to achieve it. They are essential goals for you. Set goals according to the priorities in your life or work. This will help you in better focusing on your goal.
2. Be specific in setting goals
When you are setting goals, you need to be specific. When setting goals, you should be clear about what you want to achieve, in how much time they should be achieved. By defining these things it will become easier for you to achieve your goal.
3. Set goals that are quantifiable
Goals should have some dates, numbers and all the relevant information. So you should know that how much you have achieved and how much is remaining.
4. Set goals that are achievable
Set goals that are achievable and challenging for at the same time. It will help you in building your confidence and will motivate you in working hard to achieve those goals.
5. Set goals that are relevant
Set goals that align with your career and your personal and professional development. It will help you maintaining focus on life and work and making it better.
6. Set goals with deadlines
Goals should have some deadlines. By setting deadlines, you will be able to better focus on your goals and achieve them in a short period of time. You will able to make efforts on other goals as well.
7. Set goals with some action plan
When you are setting goal, also make action plans that how you are going to achieve it. Clarify your actions that you are going to take to achieve your goal. It is more important in long term goals.
8. Continuous review
At various points, you should review that you are going in the right direction. So you may not deviate from the path of your goal. You can have a review or evaluation every week, or fortnightly, or monthly.
Here we conclude how to set SMART goals. It is important to set some goals. They will help you in achieving success. Goals are important in life, studies, work or in which ever field you are. They are important for your personal or professional growth and success.
But your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. Otherwise you can go out of the way from your path or goal and you will be wasting your energy making useless efforts.