Why do so many people fail to achieve their goals? We all have desires and ambitions, but year after year, as we’ve seen with New Year’s Resolutions, there always seems to be something standing in the way of success.
One of the main reasons why people fail to reach their goals is because they’re too vague with their desires. It’s easy to set a goal of becoming healthier or making more money, but what’s your plan to achieve it? That’s where SMART goals come in. It’s an effective and practical system to help you achieve your goals by creating a realistic action plan.
What are SMART goals?
SMART goals apply to both personal and professional goals. It requires you to be very clear and specific on what you’d like to accomplish. It’s an effective tool designed to help you successfully reach your goals by breaking it down step by step, so you understand exactly how achieve it. When you cover these aspects on how to make your goal more attainable, you’re setting yourself up for success rather than failure and disappointment.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Your goal is your desired outcome. Your system is the collection of daily habits that will get you there.james clear.
What does SMART stand for?
S – Specific What is your goal? Do you need help achieving this goal? If so, from who? What is your time frame? Where can you do this? Are there any other requirements needed to complete this goal? Why is this goal important?
M – Measurable Now that we’ve gone through the specifics, it’s time to determine what method you are going to use to measure your progress. A goal becomes more tangible when you’re able to measure its performance. Depending on your goal, it could require a collection of data, numbers, or productivity results.
A – Achievable How attainable is your goal? Does it require you to take a new course? To acquire new skills? To change your attitude, outlook, or routine? Do you need to break your goal down into smaller bits? If so, consider what you would need to do in order to make your goal achievable.
R – Relevant It’s time to determine why this goal is relevant. Does this goal align with your personal or professional goals? How will it benefit you?
T – Time-Bound Much like measuring your progress, setting a timeframe for achieving your goal is an effective way to stay motivated and ensure its success. If you set a goal without a deadline, then there’s no sense of urgency or priority which makes it less attainable.
Why does the SMART system work?
The SMART system works because it requires you to be very specific with your goals. Not only are you writing down what you’d like to achieve, but you’re also creating an actionable plan. Goals are meaningless unless you follow up with a way to achieve them. When you sit down, plan, and find a way to make your goal attainable, its success becomes a reality.
Example of writing a SMART goal
Goal: I want to start reading in 2023.
Specific: This weekend, I’ll go to the library and pick a book I want to read. I will dedicate 5 minutes each night to reading.
Measurable: I will use Goodreads to track my reading progress each night.
Achievable: I’ll adjust my nightly routine to ensure I have 5 minutes or more to read.
Relevant: This aligns with my personal goals because I want to build my vocabulary and learn new things.
Time-Bound: I have to return this book to the library in 1 month, so I will aim to finish it in time.
As you can see, there’s a contrast between setting a goal and actually pairing it with a tangible plan. Anyone can say they’d like to read more, but if you don’t identify how you’re going to do that, then there’s no path towards achieving that goal. What are your thoughts on SMART goals? Are you going to use or apply this method to your current goals? I’d love to hear your thoughts. For more posts relating to productivity, visit my tag here.
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