What are SMARTER goals
Many people spend their lives drifting from one goal plan to another, without achieving their target.
Setting SMARTER goals means you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in life.
Your goal should be clear and specific, otherwise you won’t be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve it. When drafting your goal, try to answer the five “W” questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
Specifics are the fuel in the engine of your goals. You have to provide specifics if you’re going to achieve anything at all. When you write out your goals, be absolutely as specific as possible. And never be afraid to be too specific.
It’s important to have measurable goals, so that you can track your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to stay focused, meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal.
A measurable goal should address questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
You must be able to track progress and measure the result of your goal. A good goal statement answers the question, how much or how many. How will I know when I have achieved my goal?
Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. When you set an achievable goal, you may be able to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to it.
An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as:
- How can I accomplish this goal?
- How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
Set goals that you can actually achieve so that you build on your momentum. Your short-term goals should be something within your reach, but not so easily attainable that they won’t take much work or effort on your part. This will also help you to build that all-important momentum. Once you achieve your year-long goals, you can broaden those into much greater hopes and dreams down the road.
This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals. We all need support and assistance in achieving our goals, but it’s important to retain control over them.
Relevance means focusing on something that matters to you and makes sense within your wider life goals. For example, if family is important to you, your health goals might include activities you can do together. If you are trying to save money, you might choose activities that are free or low cost, like walking or park run.
When you set goals that are relevant, you have to dig deep down inside and truly understand what you want out of life.
Every goal needs a target date, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This part of the SMART goal criteria helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.
A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
When your goals are time-bound, they’re measurable, and you should hold yourself accountable by measuring those goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Your motivation to strive toward your goals is driven by the emotions you associate with those goals. As a result, you want to set goals that inspire and excite you. These emotions can be the deciding factor in whether you achieve your goals when faced with setbacks, failures, disappointment, fatigue, pain, tedium, and the desire to do other more interesting things.
Goals must sit comfortably within your moral compass. Most people resist acting unethically. Set goals that meet a high ethical standard.
You are more likely to stay committed to the pursuit of your goals when you write them down (not just type them into your phone or computer) than if you just think about them. The physical act of writing your goals appears to somehow imprint them more deeply in your psyche. Writing them down also seems to make the goals more tangible and real. The explicitness of writing down your goals seems to create a greater sense of ownership of them that makes you feel more compelled to strive your goals.
Make sure that you set up a system for recording and evaluating your goals and you make the evaluation of your goals habitual.
Speak to us
You could be eligible for additional help
Whether it be eating healthier, moving more, or dealing with depression, we know it can be difficult achieving your goals without some extra help. Our team is here to offer some support and advice.