Setting SMART goals

How goals are set is as important as the goal itself, to measure success. One way of doing this is to use the acronym “SMART” as a way of evaluating the goal.

- Specific

- Measurable

- Attainable

- Relevant

- Time-bound

S = Specific To help your mind and body achieve the goal, it needs to be specific and embedded into your unconscious. Write down exactly what you want, why you want it, and how to get there. Basically, if you want something badly enough, your brain will figure out how to make it happen!

M = Measurable If you want to stay on track toward your goal instead of veering off course and risking disappointment and failure, you need to establish specific criteria for measuring and tracking your progress. Let’s put it this way: If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever reach your destination?

A = Attainable Okay, this can get a little tricky. What one person thinks is attainable may not be attainable to another person. Basically, it all boils down to your belief system and what you believe you can do. Your challenge is to develop the attitudes, skills and abilities—along with the financial capacity—to reach your goals.

R = Realistic Again, this one relates more to a state of mind. Keep in mind that realistic doesn’t mean easy. In the SMART goal-setting system, it means doable. It means that you believe you can do it, that the skills needed are available, and—on a business level—that the goal fits the overall vision of the company. Be careful not to set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are totally unrealistic!

T = Timely Because most of us have a tendency to procrastinate, it’s critical that your short-term and long-term goals have a deadline. Otherwise, there’s no sense of urgency and you’ll find yourself thinking of all the other piddly things that “need” to be done instead (admit it, you’re guilty of doing this!).

How goals are set is as important as the goal itself to measure success. One way of doing this is to use the acronym “SMART” as a way of evaluating the goal.