Smart Goals Get You Results Fast

by ryan on December 16, 2017


Smart Goals Get You Results Fast


Are you setting smart goals –the kind that keep you on track–or making wishes?

What’s the difference?

Many people use word goal to describe things they know they want to have happen. Have you ever said, for example, that you wanted to:

-– Lose weight?
–- Make more money?
–- Find a new job?

These are goals, in one sense, because they describe the target you’re aiming for. Unfortunately, that’s all they do. Very general goals like this don’t do anything to organize your plan of action. In other words, they’re a lot like wishes. They give a general description of something you hope to see happen in the future.

Another kind of goal statement goes much further because it has five specific characteristics. They are:

– S – Specific
– M – Measurable
– A – Achievable
– R – Realistic
– T – Time Limited

Each of the five smart criteria draws out more details about your objective. Thus they force you to ask:

Is your goal specific? Can you tell by reading your goal statement exactly what it is that you want to achieve?

Is your goal measurable? Does the goal describe something that can be readily measured. You should be able to tell at all times how far you are from the goal, how much progress has been made, and how you will know your task is complete.

Is your goal achievable? If you’re aiming for something that can’t be done you’ll only achieve frustration. Goals that fail this test are usually fairly obvious. It is impossible to lose 20 pounds in a weekend. Similarly, if you have a totally toxic relationship with your manager you aren’t going to completely rehabilitate it in a week. The achievable prong asks whether you goal passes the straight face test.

Is your goal relevant? A relevant goal helps you achieve your mission or broader purpose – for work or in a personal sense. Relevant goals are connected to some overriding purpose in your life. The meaning they contain motivates you to work harder to achieve them.

Is your goal time limited? A time limited or time bound goal has a deadline. This concrete element organizes the effort you apply to make it happen.
Goals with these characteristics work harder for you. The detail they contain gives you practically a built in plan of action since your action steps and time line are contained within the goal itself.

They also give you have a much better shot at planning and taking the right steps to achieve exactly what you want.

See smart criteria in action with examples of SMART goals created from general goals.

Follow the steps for writing SMART goals.

If money issues are one area that you want to address, click here to get started writing SMART goals to improve your finances.


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