SMART Goal Setting (that works!)

Around this time of year we are thinking of starting fresh with new ideas and plans for our lives.  We create new goals for ourselves to commit to.  And we talked about in the previous article "Screw the Resolutions!  Try This Instead" that most of our New Year's resolutions fail within a short time after the new year begins.  But not every goal should fail.  Some we need to work out.  

So, what if you have a real goal you need to achieve and you need to make it stick?  Use the SMART goal setting system, of course! 

The term SMART goals was coined by George T. Doran in 1981.  It's an acronym that means:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Action-Oriented (though Doran's version had "Assignable", now the "A" has morphed into action instead)
  • Realistic
  • Time-Oriented 

You have heard of this system, or maybe not. Either way, it's an effective way to achieve your goals.  Here's how you do it!

So, what exactly does this mean?  How do you implement this in your own life?

Well, get out your journal and write down the following questions to answer (or print them):

  1. What is my goal?  Why do I want it?  How will achieving this benefit my life?
  2. How will it hurt my life to not achieve this goal?
  3. Other ways this goal will help me?
  4. How will NOT achieving this goal benefit me?
  5. What are obstacles to my success?
  6. How should I plan on dealing with those obstacles?  Use If/Then statements: "If this happens, then I will do this".
  7. Now, give yourself three levels to achieve: MINIMUM, TARGET, and EXTRAORDINARY.  What are each of these things?
  8. What do I need to start doing now to prepare for this goal?
  9. What do I need to stop doing now to prepare for this goal? 
  10. What type of person do I need to become in order to achieve this goal?
  11. What resources do I already have so I can start on this goal now?
  12. What resources do I need to get so I can keep moving forward with this goal?
  13. What are three steps I need to take this week in order to start moving forward?
  14. What are three steps i need to take this month in order to start moving forward?
  15. How can I positively frame this goal to make it more achievable?  (like, say "I will be 150lbs on such and such date" rather than "I want to lose 50lbs by such and such date")
  16. Now, describe a day in the life of you after you have achieved your goal.  From the time you wake up, until the time you go to sleep, how will you feel all day after achieving this goal?

 If you remember the SMART goal setting style, your goals won't stand a chance of you not following through!

Have a goal you've achieved or are planning to achieve?  Share it below and tell us how it went (or will go)!!

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