How to Set Goals – SMART Goals

smart goals

By Carson Tate on March 10, 2021

In our overscheduled, 24/7 always on, hyper-connected world it can be hard to focus on and achieve your long-term goals. It’s time to enhance your productivity and elevate your goal setting and use the proven SMART methodology to set your goals.

SMART Goals = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely

The focus of a SMART goal is that it is specific, measurable, and achievable. These goals also are relevant and time-bound so you can achieve both your short-term and long-term goals.

Here is how you can use SMART to achieve your objectives, reach your potential, and fulfill your dreams.

1) Specific

Each one of your goals needs to be clear and precise. As you have probably experienced, when goals are not explicit, you are less likely to accomplish them. Vague goals make it difficult for you to remain motivated long-term. To set a specific goal, ask yourself exactly what you want to do differently.  For example, instead of setting a goal to lose weight, set a goal to lose 25 pounds. Or, instead of beginning your day in your inbox reacting to what everyone else wants you to do, set a goal to spend 5 minutes each morning on a high value task on your to do list.

2) Measurable

Measurable goals empower and motivate you because you can assess your progress, and not feel overwhelmed. For example, you set the specific goal of losing 25 pounds. Break this goal down into how many pounds per week you need to lose to achieve your goal.  A measurable goal makes it simple to track your progress over time and increases the chance of your success.

3) Achievable

A SMART goal is achievable and realistic. An achievable goal will help you stay committed and inspired because you take small, incremental steps to reach your destination. For example, if your goal is to lose 25 pounds, you make it measurable when you determine the number of pounds you will lose each week. Now, to make your weight loss goal achievable and realistic consider your activity level and nutrition so you can determine a realistic number of pounds to lose each week. An achievable goal galvanizes you and enables you to not quit before you achieve your goal.  

4) Relevant

SMART goals need to be relevant to your life. Why you want to reach this goal is critical because it influences how hard you will work to achieve it. Ask yourself, what’s in it for you to achieve this goal? What’s at stake if you do not achieve this goal? Personally? Professionally? What will be different in your life when you achieve this goal? Whey you connect your goal to your why it will embolden you so you can achieve your goal even in the face of adversity or setbacks.

5) Time-Bound

All of your goals, large and small, need to have an end date. A deadline provides a sense of urgency and energizes you to take action to reach your goals instead of only talking about them. The length of time for a goal can vary, whether it’s a short-term goal that can be achieved in a couple of weeks or it’s a long-term goal that can take six months or longer to accomplish. Amplify your odds of success and set a deadline for your goals.

Why is Goal Setting Important?

Using SMART goals is one of the most effective ways to stay focused on what you want to achieve without overwhelm. A specific, measurable goal will give you a clear purpose and enable you to visualize exactly what you achieve. Achievable and relevant goals help you stay motivated until you complete your challenge. Time-bound goals stop procrastination and induce you to take action now.

SMART goals are relatively easy for anyone to use, whether you are looking to improve a specific skill or become a better version of yourself. Today is the day you set SMART goals and  make your dreams a reality!

Carson Tate is the founder and managing partner of Working Simply, Inc., a business consulting firm that partners with organizations, business leaders and employees to enhance workplace productivity, foster employee engagement, and build personal and professional legacies.

She is the author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style, and just released, Own It. Love It. Make It Work.: How To Make Any Job Your Dream Job. Order your copy HERE! For more information, please visit www.carsontate.com.