If you set goals for your work or personal life, setting smart goals called “SMART Goals” can help increase the odds of achieving them. This popular goal-setting technique can help you become more productive and ensure that your goals are both achievable and specific. By going through some tips for creating smart goals, you can create effective goals for your own purposes.
In this article, we'll discuss what smart goals are and give 12 tips for creating a smart goal.
What is a Smart Goal, or “SMART Goal”?
A smart goal is a tool to set and achieve goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Smart Goals include all of these criteria to make sure the goals you're pursuing are achievable.
Why is it important to create a smart goal?
Creating a smart goal is important because it ensures that your goals are specific, realistic, measurable and time-bound. By using this method of goal setting, you increase the chances of achieving the desired result.
How do you set these smart goals? The 12 tips.
Here are the tips you might want to take into account when creating smart goals:
Choose goals that are important to you
The goals you set should be the goals that motivate you. If you have a strong interest in achieving a certain result, then you are much more likely to achieve those goals.
Selecting goals that you are motivated to achieve is essential. You can achieve this by setting goals related to the top priorities in your work or life. This can help you focus on setting fewer goals to ensure you have the time it takes to spend on each of your goals.
Ask yourself: why?
When setting goals, it's important to ask yourself why a goal is important to you. To clearly understand and identify your why, ask yourself why that purpose is important to you, why the reason matters, and why you have a strong sense of this reason.
Once you've identified your why, you can identify small, quick, or easily achievable goals to help you achieve the bigger goal you're pursuing.
The S: Be specific
The goals you set should be specific. It can be helpful to start with an overarching goal that you want to pursue and then break that goal down into smaller, very specific goals that you can achieve more quickly.
When considering your goals, think about when they should happen, where they should happen, and what you ultimately want to achieve. Defining exactly what you want to achieve makes it easier to create a specific plan for how you are going to achieve those goals.
The M: Set goals that are measurable
The goals you set should contain accurate dates, amounts, and other information so that you know how successful you are in achieving them. For example, if you want to increase sales results, it is important to define the amount by which you want to increase sales and realized revenue in order to understand when you will succeed.
The A: Set goals that are acceptable and attainable
It is important to set achievable goals. If your goal is both challenging and achievable, it can boost your confidence and motivate you to work hard to achieve even more challenging goals. These kinds of goals ultimately provide the greatest personal satisfaction.
The R: Set goals that are relevant
It's important to set goals that are relevant to the career path you want to take or the personal aspirations you have for your life. By selecting only relevant goals, you increase the chance that you will focus you need to pursue and achieve those goals.
The T: Determine the time when you want to achieve this goal and use a deadline
Your goals should always have a deadline. By setting a deadline, you create a greater sense of urgency and increase the chances of reaching your goal in a shorter amount of time.
If you can't reach your goal by the deadline, you can also use the timeline to re-evaluate your strategy. For example, you can consider whether your goal is actually achievable and, if so, whether there are other steps you can take to achieve it.
Set goals you can control
To achieve your goals, it is important to set goals that you have control over. If you set goals that depend on other people, you depend on others to complete their part. By making sure you have control over all aspects of a goal, you can greatly increase the odds of achieving it.
Make goals with a positive tone
When setting goals, it's important to create goals with a positive tone. In other words, when you formulate your goal, it should be aimed at a positive outcome.
For example, instead of setting a goal to reduce procrastination, set a goal to complete certain tasks at a specific time in your day or week.
Make an action plan
This is one of the most important steps in the smart goal setting process. It is important to think carefully about the specific actions you need to take to achieve your ultimate goal. Creating an action plan is especially important if the goal you are pursuing is long-term or particularly challenging.
Focus on the process
As you pursue your smart goals, it's important to focus on the process and progress you're making. Regardless of whether you achieve your primary goal, in the process of working towards it, your ultimate goal may shift.
Rate and evaluate your smart goals
As you submit yours, you should plan to review and re-evaluate them on several points before you meet the deadline you set.
You can schedule to review your process and progress on a weekly, monthly or even bi-monthly basis. By briefly reviewing your progress and evaluating whether you are getting closer to your goal, you can determine if you need to make changes to your action plan to better achieve your goals. It can also give you a confidence boost when you see that you are making good progress and reaching your goal before the deadline.