Sometimes making a to-list isn’t quite enough to actually get things done. If you find you’re struggling to work towards the things that you want to achieve, read below for info on how S.M.A.R.T goals can help. This method can work for anything whether you’re wanting to complete a personal trainer course or save up for labiaplasty surgery.
Begin by clearly stating your goal, with as much detail as possible. Don’t just state you ‘want to be fitter. Instead declare that you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness in order to run a 5k without stopping. This will give direction for your next step. And identify what you’re looking for to determine whether or not you’ve achieved your aim.
The way you measure if you achieved your goal will vary depending on what it is. If it is monetary, describe the amount of money you want rather than ‘enough’ to go on holidays. Outlining a metric will also be a way for you to track how well you are progressing.
Although you’ll want to set a goal that is challenging to yourself, it should still be attainable when you undertake a sustained effort to achieve it. It could mean that it is achievable in a more practical time frame. (For example it’s not possible you can get a PhD in 6 months.) And make sure it’s reachable based on the resources you realistically have at your disposal. Stretch your limits. But not far beyond the practicalities of your everyday life.
Relevance ties into achievability. A goal that is relevant will be undertaken at the best time for you and is able to successfully lead you to the outcome you have set. Furthermore, you might find that the specific thing that you are trying to achieve is not possible in your current social/ economic/ political environment. Double check that the steps you have outlined will actually take you in the direction where you want to head. You can do this by projecting the outcome of your actions. And this should also tie into your bigger picture!
This refers to the timeline in which you will achieve your goal. Don’t forget that you should set a starting date. For example: “on Jan 20th I will go to the gym twice a week for 12 weeks in a row.’ Not only does this statement include a beginning and conclusion date. But it also outlines frequency, which is another important aspect of goal setting.
Don’t forget that frequency also needs to be realistic and something that you’ll be capable of achieving. For larger undertakings, a conclusion date need not be when you achieve your ultimate goal. It may be the end of period in which you will then reassess and define new steps that will get your closer to the big picture you’re working towards.