You’ve probably heard of SMART goals but do you know what the acronym SMART stands for? In order to set yourself up for inevitable success you will want to set SMART goals for yourself.
Your goals should pass the SMART test. They should be:
- Time Bound
Let’s talk about how each of these criteria can be applied to your goals.
Specific and Measureable
When you set a specific goal that’s measureable, you’ll know whether you reach it or not. A goal to become healthy is vague and non-specific. How do you measure whether it’s been reached? A goal to lose 10 pounds in the next 2 months is specific and measureable. You’ve either achieved that by the deadline or you didn’t.
Likewise, saying you want to grow your business is not specific nor is it measureable. By turning that same goal into a statement that includes something you want that is measureable that also indicates a growing business now makes the goal smarter. For example, Saying you want to add 500 new email subscribers in the next 3 months is both specific and measureable. You either reach that number in 3 months or you don’t.
Creating a goal that is impossible to reach is frustrating and demoralizing. You want to set yourself up for inevitable success, not inevitable failure. Choose a goal that is a stretch but achievable. For example, if you set a goal to lose 40 pounds by your next birthday which is a little over 3 months from now and you currently don’t exercise and don’t cook, that goal may not be achievable at this time.
Setting a more realistic goal for now and working your way to that weight loss goal over time is perhaps achievable in the future. Remember, you are setting yourself up for inevitable success. Make sure that your goal is achievable at this time.
You’ll want the goal that you’re setting to be relevant to your short term goals as well as your long term goals—your vision or mission for the big picture. Sometimes, a bright shiny object comes along that you think might be a great new goal to attain, so you set a goal around it and start working towards making that happen. And after spending a lot of time working towards this bright shiny object, you realize that it’s taking you further from your long-term mission. The fact is it was never relevant to what you’re ultimately trying to achieve.
Ask yourself if this goal will help move you closer to what you want to create more of in this world. A relevant goal will bring you closer and you will easily see how that’s possible. A goal that is not relevant will have you spinning your wheels and wasting time without moving closer to fulfilling your long distance dreams and mission.
A goal without a deadline is not a goal—it’s a dream. You want to draw a line in the sand and give yourself a deadline by which to accomplish your goal. By having a date on the calendar when this goal will be reached, you now have declared it will actually happen—it’s no longer merely a dream.
By having a firm deadline, you now have a chunk of time to break down the action steps necessary to achieve your goal and fit these into your calendar between now and that end date. If you go through this last step and realize that the goal will not realistically be met by your deadline, you now have a choice; set a new deadline, delegate some of these action steps, or revise your goal.
Put Them All Together
SMART goals are specific and measureable. They are relevant to your overall big picture—both in the short term and long term. Lastly, setting a deadline for your SMART goal ensures that the goal is completed within a set time frame. You’re more likely to hit the bull’s eye for your goal when your goal setting is done with the SMART acronym.
We use this smart goal process to revive your health in my Fueled For Fun Program! No extreme dieting or lifestyle changes that don’t last. You can grab my free Habit Cheat Sheet here to get my process.