Have you ever set a goal? Did you reach it? Or did it elude you?
From children to adults, in our personal or professional lives, setting goals is an important part of being successful in any field.
But a goal is not really a goal….until you do something very intentional about it.
“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Diana Scharf Hunt
Enter S.M.A.R.T. goals.
A SMART goal is an action oriented goal that is Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Results Oriented, and Time Bound.
Instead of simply writing a goal of “I will become a freelance writer,” a SMART has specific components that force you to be intentional in your actions.
Creating SMART goals can take some practice. You have to have thought about your purpose and your goal in order to create it.
Questions to ask yourself when creating a SMART goals
What will the goal accomplish? How? Why?
What are at least two indicators that will measure whether the goal has been reached?
Do you have the necessary information, knowledge, or skills to accomplish the goal? What resources will you need to help you?
What is the benefit of accomplishing the goal? What will happen as a result of achieving the goal?
Is there a sense of urgency to complete the goal?
Try Writing Your Own SMART Goal
The easiest examples of SMART goals are in environments where you are looking to increase achievement, participation, or a specific rate.
Here are a few possible examples of SMART goals that might help get you started.
Instead of saying, I will run a half marathon in 2013 (although it is results oriented, it is not very time bound), I could say, I will run three running races including a 5k, 10 miler, and half marathon between January and April of 2013. This goal is specific, attainable, it is measurable, and it outlines a very targeted period of time.
Saying I will become a freelance writer is not specific or measurable or time bound. On the other hand,
“I will increase my paid freelance writing projects from one a month to five a month by August.”is measurable, provides a target that is attainable and yet still challenging, and is time bound.
The truth is that we all create goals in our mind. But the act of thinking intentionally about what it will look like, how we will achieve it, and what needs to be in place to make us successful is an important part of making it concrete enough to achieve.
What about you? What SMART goal would you set out to achieve?