If you want to make progress in your life, goals can help you get the results you want. If you want to be more likely to achieve your goals, you need to have SMART goals.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART goals were developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham in their 1981 article, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management Goals and Objectives.” In that article, they concluded that there is a SMART way to write goals.
Each goal should be the following:
- Specific – Make your goals specific, so they are easy to plan for.
- Measurable – Track your goals, so you can continually see your progress.
- Achievable – Make sure that you will be able to achieve your goals.
- Relevant – Your goals should align with your long-term objectives.
- Time-bound – Set a realistic and time-based end date for achieving your goals.
How to Apply SMART Goals
SMART goals can be used to help you achieve your goal(s).
Each goal should be clear and specific. If your goal isn’t clear or specific enough, it can be challenging to work towards and accomplish your goal.
A specific goal should ask the following questions:
- Who is involved?
- What do I want to achieve?
- When do I need to achieve the goal by?
- Why is the goal important?
Here is an example of a specific goal:
Imagine that you are on a quest for a healthier lifestyle. A specific goal for you might be: “I will exercise six days a week and get in one serving of vegetables at every meal.”
Measurable goals make it easier for you to track and be aware of when you have accomplished your goals. Your goals should be quantifiable. When you assess your progress, you can be more focused on achieving your goals.
A measurable goal should answer the following questions:
- How will I measure my progress?
- How will I know if my goal is achieved?
Here is an example of a measurable goal:
Imagine that you are on a quest to run faster. A measurable goal for you might be: “I will run six days per week for 30 minutes per day and compete in a 5K.”
Goals need to be realistic and attainable to achieve success. You should stretch your abilities when you are working towards accomplishing your goals, but the goal needs to be reachable.
An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as:
- Is it reasonable to complete the goal in the allotted time?
- Will it be clear when the goal is complete?
Here is an example of an achievable goal:
Imagine that you are on a quest to run faster. An achievable goal for you might be: “I would like to increase my running speed and complete a mile in 7 minutes, by the first of December.”
In this step, you need to think about why you are setting the goal you are setting. It’s important to retain control over the goal. Goals need to be relevant to where you are wanting to head. If your goal is relevant, you will have the focus to help you achieve the goal.
A relevant goal should answer “yes” to this question:
- Is this goal related to my overall success?
Here is an example of a relevant goal:
Imagine that you are on a quest to be healthier. A relevant goal for you might be: “I would like to be healthier by my next physical, so I will set aside 30 minutes each day to exercise.”
Every goal needs a target date, so there is a deadline to focus on and something to work towards. Having a time-bound goal helps you take control of your goals by being very detailed with each goal.
A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
- What can I do today?
- What can I do four weeks from now?
- What can I do four months from now?
Here is an example of a time-bound goal:
Imagine that you are on a quest to exercise more. A time-bound goal for you might be: “I will exercise for 45 minutes each day, four days a week by the end of next month.”
FREE SMART Goals Worksheet
Take your goals to the next level with the free SMART goals worksheet. This worksheet can help you plan your goals and achieve them. Simply click on the image below to download the free goal worksheet.
If you have goals and want to achieve them, using the SMART goals method can help you get great results. Use the free printable in this post to help you work towards your goals and achieve them.
You’ve got this!