You’ve probably heard of S.M.A.R.T goals before…and that’s because it’s a formula that works. Here’s an overview:
SPECIFIC – Your goal needs to be spelled out very precisely and you also need to have a reason WHY behind your goal…some benefit or emotional attachment that will keep you focused. For example, a goal might be to earn $12,500 per month and on board 5 new quality clients monthly in the next 90 days.
Using language that leaves no doubt as to what the goal is, why you want to achieve the goal, and how you will get there is very important. If you are not able to be detailed in your description of the goal, it will be hard to meet it. Take the time to do this part right.
MEASURABLE – This is where the Journal comes into play. It’s a report card and a method to measure what you want to accomplish and what you actually accomplished. If your goal cannot be quantified, then it’s not a full goal and you won’t know how when you have succeeded. An example of a measurable goal would be “I want to deposit to our bank account an additional 100 dollars per week. I’ll accomplish this by writing five 500-word articles each week for a life coach.”
ACTIONABLE / ACHIEVABLE – There are different things that “A” can stand for, but it’s usually actionable or achievable. In order to achieve anything, you must take action. So, make your goal actionable, where you do something each day that will eventually result in an accomplished goal.
Goals should also be achievable or you will quickly get frustrated. Be accurate about the time it takes to reach a goal, and what actions it takes to get there. Also, know who will be responsible for doing it.
REALISTIC / RELEVANT – “R” can stand for realistic or relevant, and both are important. If you want your goal to succeed, it should most certainly be realistic or you will fail. If you’re currently making $500 a week and your goal is to increase that to $12,500 in 90 days, that’s not realistic. However, you may be able to increase it by $300. Once you achieve that goal and are earning $800 a week, you can set a new goal to increase your income by another $500 a week or something similar.
Your goal should also be relevant to your life’s vision and match your values. There’s no point in making or achieving goals that have no relevance to your long-term life goals. You could instead use that time to reach goals that get you one step closer to actually reaching your life goals. So always ask yourself, if the goal is relevant to your life goals.
TIME BOUND / TIMELY / TRACKABLE – Various authors refer to the “T” in the S.M.A.R.T. acronym as time-bound, timely or trackable. All of these t’s are important parts of the goal creating and setting process. If you don’t set a time limit and you can’t track what is happening, your goal will be hard to quantify or show as achieved.
Now that you know what they are it’s time to set your S.M.A.R.T. goals.
To help you work through and create S.M.A.R.T. goals, download the quick guide and worksheet below.