SMART is an abbreviation that stands for criteria for goals and targets:
- Results-focused (or: Realistic)
- Time-bound (or: Timely).
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To set a specific goal, you must answer the six “W” questions:
- Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
- Who: Who is involved?
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Identify a location.
- When: Establish a time frame.
- Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would be, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week.”
A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.
- You have concrete criteria, to measure your progress towards each goal that you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates. Plus: you will enjoy the positive feeling that you haved reached a target. This will spur you on, to continue to try and reach the next target, and your end-goal.
To see if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……
- How much? How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you will have to figure out ways to make them come true. In the process, you will develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach your goals. You may see previously overlooked opportunities, to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain almost any goal you set, when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.
Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach, eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.
When you list your goals, you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and you start developing the traits and the personality, that allow you to possess them.
To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective, towards which you are willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal you set, represents substantial progress.
A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one, because a low goal has low motivational force.
Your goal is probably realistic, if you truly believe that you can accomplish it.
Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic, is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or to ask yourself what conditions would have to exist, to accomplish this goal.
A goal should be linked to a time frame. With no time frame tied to it, there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it to a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.