Goal setting isn’t always easy. And achieving goals is even trickier.
There are broad goals and short-term goals. Often times a broad goal can be achieved with a series of short-term goals. The key to success is to set a solid foundation from the beginning.
Enter the SMART goal process.
S = Specific What do I want to accomplish?
The goal should be clear and concise. Think of the 5 Ws: Who, What, When, Why, and Where. A specific goal has a greater chance of being achieved than a general goal.
M = Measurable How will I measure success and how will I know I achieved it?
There should be a way to track your progress. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Plus, keeping track and seeing progress can be motivating.
A = Achievable Can I realistically achieve the goal in the time provided?
Goal should be realistic and attainable. It’s okay to push yourself, but don’t make it impossible.
R = Relevant How does the goal align with my overall objective?
Linking your goal to something important ensures that it is rewarding and results-oriented.
T = Time-based How much time should I allow to reach my goal?
Your goal should have a time frame with a target date. Use the target date to plan backwards, outlining how much time per day, week, month, etc. you will dedicate. A time frame helps with motivation and keeps you accountable.
Following the SMART principles of goal-setting increases the probability of success.