What Are SMART Goals?
Goals are a component of every part of life. Without clear goals, it is difficult to determine if you are making progress in the areas that are the most important to you. By using SMART goals as a device, you can create criteria to help focus your efforts and increase your chances for success. In this context, SMART is an acronym for - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.
Specific. (simple, sensible, significant)
Goals should be clear and well defined. If a goal is too vague, you may not feel that it is reachable.
- What needs to be accomplished?
- Why is this important?
- How will it be achieved?
Measurable. (meaningful, motivating)
In order to determine when a goal is met, you must be able to track your progress.
- Are your goals measurable?
- What are the milestones?
- How will you track progress and know when you have reached your goal?
Achievable. (agreed, attainable)
In order to stay motivated, set a realistic goal.
- Is your goal actually accomplishable?
- What is your motivation?
- Are there limitations that may prohibit you from reaching your goal?
Relevant. (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
Set goals that are worthwhile and that will benefit you directly.
- Why does the goal matter to you?
- What are the benefits?
Time-bound. (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
Setting a definite time/date for accomplishing your goal will help you maintain your focus and stay on track.
- What is your deadline? (Good goals do not stretch into infinity.)
- What can be accomplished within the set time-frame?
As you begin to write your SMART goals, remember to ask yourself a lot of questions, keep a positive attitude, and be realistic.