Do you have big plans for 2011? What do you want to accomplish? 10K increase in salary. What about losing ten pounds before next spring? It does not matter what you would like to achieve, you must have structure to keep you going in the right direction.
SMART is an acronym for the five characteristics used to set goals.
• Specific: When goals are specific you know exactly what is expected, when, and how much. Because the goals are detailed, you can easily measure your growth towards completing your goal.
• Measurable: It is easy for you to stay motivated to complete your goals when you have milestones to indicate their progress. What good is a goal that you can’t measure? If your goals are not measurable, you never know whether you are making progress toward their successful completion.
• Attainable: Goals that are set too high or too low become meaningless, and you naturally get frustrated and begin to lose focus or ignore all together. Achievable goals should not be too easy or out of reach.
• Relevant: Realistic means that you have the resources to get it done. The achievement of a realistic objective requires resources, such as, people, equipment, money, skills, etc, etc.
• Time-bound: Goals should have a start date, end date, and milestones into between. Setting a deadline is the key to keeping the momentum going. Goals without deadlines or schedules for completion can become derailed by the day-to-day drama that is just life.
A good example of a situation that calls for SMART Goals would be to get in better shape. You need to define the who, what, when, where, how and why.
Who: Just you
What: Lose 30lbs
When: 6 months
Where: At home and gym required
Why: Doctors orders and to just get into better shape
How: workout 3 times a week for 2 hours
Measure your progress weekly to make sure you are on target. This also helps to keep you motivated.
Can you lose 30lbs in 6 months? That would mean 5lbs every month. Based on your weekly progress is this attainable?
Do you have the time to make the goals realistic? Do you have the resources at home to work out? Will the gym be affordable?
Milestones at fixed intervals means every month you need to lose at least 5lbs. Will your timeframe be every week you weigh in on a scale?
The key to SMART is to remember that it is your life, so careful planning will keep you aligned with your goals to get what you want in a timely manner. 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years from now what should you accomplish? Once you know what you want to do with yourself, you are ready to create some goals. Start with your short-term objectives such as daily, weekly, and monthly targets that will move you toward your long-term objectives.
We all have dreams. Can you accomplish your dreams by using SMART Goals? Maybe you are creating goals just without any clear process. Being inspired to try smart goals is the first step. As you accomplish your goals, your motivation and inspiration should increase. Yes!
Coming soon, I will layout my plans for 2011 using SMART Goals.
Curtis Valentine (aka) Mr. MakingUsmile