How to Make a SMART Goal
Setting goals doesn't achieve much unless that goal is doable. If you don't make your goal a reality you can end up feeling like a failure -- but maybe your goal was doomed from the start.
Some smart people came up with the SMART method of creating doable goals for business. You can use the same method for creating doable personal goals.
What is a SMART goal?
SMART stands for:
What is a Specific goal?
Goals that are too general are hard to target so you want your goal to be specific.
"Quit smoking" is an example of a specific goal.
“Lose weight” on the other hand, is general. How much weight do you want to lose? Specific weight-loss goals would be something like: “lose 20 pounds” or “fit comfortably into a size 10”.
“Make more money” is general, "increase my income by 25%" is specific, "start a consulting business" is specific.
What is a Measurable goal?
To make a goal measurable you add concrete measurable details so you can monitor progress toward your goal. You are indicating what will be changed by how much. It helps you be accountable. It helps you know how you're doing along the way and gives a marker for success.
"Get more fit" isn't measurable. "Be able to walk a mile without being out of breath," "get my body fat down to 30%" or "workout 3 times a week" are examples of measurable goals.
You might have made your goal measurable when you made it specific.
"Lose 20 pounds" is measurable.
"Increase my income by 25%" is measurable.
What is an Attainable goal?
While you might not know yet how you will attain your goal, it still needs to be within reasonable reach or it’s just fantasy.
It doesn’t have to be easy to attain and you don’t need to know at this moment exactly how you would reach your goal, but it does have to be within reach.
Making a $1Million might not be attainable. Maybe making money can still be your goal – what’s an attainable financial goal? It can be a stretch. It just has to be a reasonable stretch.
What is a Relevant goal?
This is about your goal being relevant in your life, fitting for your life,
A goal of climbing Mt Everest might not be a good fit if you have young children that need your time and attention.
This quality is about checking in about your priorities in the current phase of your life.
It’s also about checking to make sure your goal matters to you.
If your partner wants you to quit smoking, but you don’t want to quit smoking, then quitting smoking might not pass the relevant test. (I’ve helped lots of people quit smoking with hypnosis, but it always concerns me if a spouse calls to make inquiries into an appointment instead of a smoker calling for themselves. Sometimes it has worked out that the smoker was motivated to quit but the opportunity to make the call was easier for the spouse, but I had one guy who clearly didn’t want to quit smoking. His wife wanted him to quit but he didn’t want to quit. He went through the motions but he got what he wanted – he continued smoking.)
Your goal has to be relevant for you.
What is a Timed goal?
It is important to set time targets for your resolution.
Adding timing gives you concrete targets and makes you more accountable. It improves motivation.
"Lose 20 pounds" met the measurable quality. Now if you add by when, it will meet the Timed quality. "Lose 20 pounds by April 1st" is a measurable and timed goal. "Lose 2 lbs a week until reaching goal weight of 200 lbs" would also meet both criteria.
Think of a goal and take it through each of the SMART elements to make it a clearer and clearer goal.
Then --- make a plan for reaching that goal.
For more help creating a plan and achieving your goals check out my books and recordings:
Help Making a Plan of Action
My Hypnosis Recordings can help get your subconscious on board with your conscious goals
Get Fit and Stay Fit Hypnosis for a healthy lifestyle, help with dieting, weight loss, healthy eating, exercise and more
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- Ann Silvers