Goals are very powerful. They affect whether or not you ever reach the visions you have set for your life. But it is shocking how the majority of people don’t have goals, or they don’t use them correctly. Only three percent of the population in the United Sates have their goals in writing. Likewise, only three percent of the population in America report over $100,000 gross income to the IRS. This three percent of the population overlaps. They are the same people. People who have their goals in writing and look at them daily make more money and are more successful than people who don’t.
This three percent also knows how to write effective goals. They know that goals are just steps that you create to help you reach your vision. Whether or not they do so intentionally, their goals are SMART.
Here are some tips on how to write SMART goals.
S: The S in smart stands for specific. Goals need to specifically spell out what it is that you want to accomplish. A goal that says, “I’m going to lose weight.” is too general. You need to write down how much weight you want to lose, or even how you plan to lose the weight. The more specific you are, the better the goal is.
M: The M stands for measurable. Can you measure your goal? Having a goal that says, “I am going to be happier.” isn’t really measurable. Instead you should find something that makes you happy and have a goal that allots a certain amount of time a week to doing that activity. You need to make sure your goal is measurable to track if you are really achieving it.
A: The A stands for action oriented. Your goals need to have you take action. Your goals need to be something that you can actually do. Goals that say, “I will eat four fruits or vegetables a day.” or “I will go to bed at 10:00.” are focused on action. Those are things that you can actually accomplish.
R: The R in smart stands for realistic. Can you honestly commit to this goal? The goal can’t be so farfetched that you can’t accomplish it in the time period set. You have to seriously look at your goal and decide if it is actually possible. Creating an unrealistic goal is pointless.
T: The T stand for time frame specific. You need to specify a time frame for this goal. If you don’t have a time frame set out, then you’ll never have motivation to accomplish it. You’ll just keep putting it off. A goal without a deadline is not a good goal. You can’t leave it open-ended.
One thing to remember about goals is that they should be written in pencil; they change a lot. If a goal is not working, then you can change it. You don’t have to keep trying to accomplish a goal that isn’t getting you closer to your vision. You need to be able to reevaluate, and move forward.