Setting and achieving a significant goal is one of the keys to a happy and prosperous life.
All goals can be simplified and placed into 3 categories, goals that will be achieved, goals that are dreams and goals that die. This blog post is for people who are planning and working to achieve their goals whatever they may be and no matter how large they may be.
The primary key to setting a goal and achieving the goal is having a system. The best system I’ve discovered is commonly known as S.M.A.R.T. goals.
S.M.A.R.T goals consist of 5 key components they are:
- Time Bound
If there is any possibility of achieving your goal it must at a minimum have these 5 components. If any of these components are missing you haven’t set a goal, you have a dream. If you strategically create your goal around these 5 S.M.A.R.T components outlined here you greatly improve your chances of achieving your goal no matter how large may be.
You must set a goal that is SPECIFIC.
Specific– To increase the probability of achieving your goal you must be sure your goal is specific as possible. The best way to make your goal as specific as possible is to answer these 6 “W” questions.
- Who: Who is involved? (What traits or skills must they and or I have?)
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Identify a location to begin.
- When: Establish a time frame.
- Which: Identify requirements and constraints. (Include your current strengths and weaknesses)
- Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal. (This is the most important step, this can only be underestimated)
The answers to these questions will help direct you towards setting all the other components of your goal. It will also help keep you focused and grounded on what is most important and what needs to be done today to achieve your goal.
Your goal must be MEASUREABLE.
Measurable – Establish a concrete way to track and measure your progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, and can quickly and easily make any necessary adjustments in meeting your goal within your timeline. Furthermore meeting specific targets and timelines will give you a real sense of achievement that will help keep you on track to reach your goal. The best and most important part about measuring your progress is that anything tracked and measured tends to improve with time and effort.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
You must be able to take ACTION towards your goal.
Actionable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them reality. In many cases you need to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach the goals you’ve set. These steps all require action.
You can attain any goal you set when you plan your action steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. A goal may feel out of your reach initially but will actually move closer to you and become attainable as you grow and expand as a person to make the goal possible. When you list your goals you build your self-image, you see yourself as worthy and this allows you to develop the traits and personality that allow you to attain the goal. However you must take action to develop the traits and personality necessary to attain your goal.
With the right attitude you will take the necessary actions towards your goal regardless of what they may be, even when you don’t know where to begin. There has never been any major breakthrough or accomplishment that has been achieved that the person who achieved it knew exactly where to begin. However, they did take action, so we must also take action towards our goals through personal development.
Your goal must be REALISTIC.
Realistic – First let me say that your goal does not have to be realistic for your current situation, education, or financial means. The goal must be realistic, as far as an objective which you are both willing and able to work towards. Understand that a goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high of a goal to work toward. If you do have a substantial goal, you will need to break that goal up into smaller goals so that you can enjoy the process and journey. Make sure that each incremental goal has measurable progress between each goal.
Ultimately your goal is realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished, and you have set a S.M.A.R.T. goal and are consistently working towards its attainment.
Your goal must be TIME BOUND.
Time Bound – All goals must be associated with a specific time frame. With no time frame tied to a goal there’s no sense of urgency. Therefore there is no measuring stick to gauge your work and progress. “Someday” won’t work, it never has and never will. However, marrying your goal to a time frame will not only give you a sense of urgency, it will improve your personal accountability, expectation, and even begin to set your unconscious mind into motion and aid you in attaining your goal.
Moving towards a time bound goal improves and increases the feeling of tangibility in the conscious and unconscious mind. A goal becomes tangible when you can experience it with one or more senses whether it is, your hearing, taste, touch, smell, or sight. When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it a reality.
A goal is something you have; A S.M.A.R.T. goal gives you something to do.
The real secret to achieving goals if there is one, is to create a plan to achieve your goal. A goal without a plan is a desire, a dream, or a wish. A goal with a plan is something that you can put action behind. Action is the key to achieving anything, so get started working toward your goal now.