In the last blog post I wrote about tackling your To-Do list and a few tips on how to cross off all those obligations. Today I have a tool to help you work towards more long-term goals!
You may have heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals...people talk about them because they work. SMART is an acronym that stands for: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely. These are the most common variables, but if there's another word that you can use that gets you the same goal end result, then by all means use it! Here's an overview of this system, and at the end, feel free to nab the free download of your very own SMART goal worksheet to help plan.
SPECIFIC – Your goal needs to be spelled out very precisely and you also need to have a reason WHY behind your goal...some benefit or emotional attachment that will keep you focused. For example, a goal might be to earn $12,500 per month and onboard 5 new quality clients monthly in the next 90 days.
Using language that leaves no doubt as to what the goal is, why you want to achieve the goal, and how you will get there is very important. If you are not able to be detailed in your description of the goal, it will be hard to meet it. Take the time to do this part right.
MEASURABLE - This is where being honest and keeping records of your goals comes into play, as well as taking a time to sit down and go over what you've worked towards, say on a monthly basis.
If your goal cannot be quantified, then it’s not a full goal and you won’t know when you have succeeded. An example of a measurable goal would be “I want to deposit to our bank account an additional 100 dollars per week. I’ll accomplish this by writing five 500-word articles each week for a life coach.”
ACTIONABLE / ACHIEVABLE – There are different things that “A” can stand for, but it’s usually actionable or achievable. In order to achieve anything, you must take action. So, make your goal actionable, where you do something each day that will eventually result in an accomplished goal.
Goals should also be achievable or you will quickly get frustrated. Be accurate about the time it takes to reach a goal, and what actions it takes to get there. Also, know who will be responsible for doing it. Stretch yourself, but don't make things so unattainable that you'll never get there and then feel like a "failure."
REALISTIC / RELEVANT – “R” can stand for realistic or relevant, and both are important. If you want your goal to succeed, it should most certainly be realistic or you will fail, just like we talked about above with "attainable." If you’re currently making $500 a week and your goal is to increase that to $12,500 in 90 days, that’s not realistic (unless you've figured out the secret formula, in which case sharing is caring!!) However, you may be able to increase it by $300. Once you achieve that goal and are earning $800 a week, you can set a new goal to increase your income by another $500 a week or something similar.
Your goal should also be relevant to your life’s vision and match your values. There’s no point in making or achieving goals that have no relevance to your long-term life goals. You could instead use that time to reach goals that get you one step closer to actually reaching your life goals. So always ask yourself, if the goal is relevant to your life goals.
TIME BOUND / TIMELY / TRACKABLE – Various authors refer to the “T” in the S.M.A.R.T. acronym as time-bound, timely or trackable. All of these t’s are important parts of the goal creating and setting process. If you don’t set a time limit and you can’t track what is happening, your goal will be hard to quantified or show as achieved. Journaling helps you with this.
Whichever words you use to help you craft your goals, the important thing is to have a process to help you make smart goals. Smart goals are goals that you follow through on achieving and know when you’ve met them.
To get started with planning your S.M.A.R.T Goal, use the worksheet below or download your own copy