When you’re setting goals for yourself, you need to make sure they’re unambiguous. A simple method for achieving this is the SMART-method. This method is widely used in the business world, but you can also apply it to personal goals. It ensures your goals are achievable! SMART is an acronym and each letter stands for a criterium your goal needs to meet. Let’s have a look, shall we?
S – Specific: Your goal needs to be specific, preferably uses numbers, but needs to be at least unambiguous.
A good example: “I want to read 25 books this year.”
A bad example: “I want to read more.”
M – Measurable: Your goal needs to be measurable. When have you achieved your goal? Can you measure your progress in between steps?
A good example: “I want to lose 10 kilograms of weight.”
A bad example: “I want to lose weight and feel more fit.”
A – Achievable: Your goal needs to be achievable. So don’t ask too much of yourself.
A good example: “I want to read a minimum of 15 minutes every day.”
A bad example: “I want to read 6 hours every day.”
R – Realistic: Your goal needs to be realistic. Don’t ask the impossible of yourself. Think about what you want to achieve and if this is realistic to ask of yourself, with your current living situation taken in regard.
A good example: “I want to finish a course for creative writing this year.”
A bad example: “I want to become an astrophysicist in one year.”
T – Timely: Your goal needs to be timed. There needs to be a deadline at which point you should have reached your goal. Always add a deadline to a goal, or you might never reach it.
A good example: “I want to finish the manuscript of my fourth novel at the end of June.”
A bad example: “I want to lose 10 kilograms of weight, eventually.”
Once your goal meets all these criteria, you’ll have made your goal SMART, which means you’ll be much more likely to achieve your goal, because you’ll know it’ll be doable and most importantly, you’ll know when you will have met your goal! Try it yourself sometime. I’ve been using this for at least five years now to set my personal goals and it really creates a lot of peace of mind knowing my goals are realistic and doable!
Jeffrey, “SMART” is an excellent paradigm to achieve goals!!!!!!! Using a number if, applicable, always “nails it” down!!! Thanks for this suggestion & compliments on this column as with you others! Jeffrey, how can you keep this up re post these columns so often???!!! –Admiration to you! Phil
Jeffrey…..And neat cartoon! Phil