Setting smart goals is one of the key ways to achieve self actualization. It’s all well and good being able to identify your areas of need and weakness and to be able to see yourself once you’ve made your changes, but it’s the intervening steps that are often the hardest to get right.
Too many people become undone by goals that they set themselves that are either far too difficult or far too vague to ever be achieved. By following the smart goals acronym, every goal you will set yourself will be ticked off in due time. The word smart actually forms a guide for good target setting:
S – Specific
This means that you have to narrow down the scope of the goal. There is no point in setting yourself the goal of “getting fitter” as there’s no way of telling if you’re working on your goal or not. A better specific statement might be “go running 3 times a week for half an hour” as this is something you can tick off each time that you do it.
M – Measurable
This means that your goal needs to something you can measure so you can tell when you’ve achieved your goal. Good questions to ask to make you focus on having measurable smart goals include “how often?”, “how many” and “how much?” For example, instead of saying, “I want to save for a vacation”, a measurable target could be “I want to save $2,000 for a vacation”. This way, you know when you’ve achieved your goal.
A – Attainable
Your goals always have to be realistic, even if you have to break them down into mini goals. The big temptation is set yourself a giant goal or something that you feel that you should be able easily achieve. In these cases, remember that the path to self-actualization is never quick, and it’s better for your self esteem to set targets that you can achieve.
For example, instead of saying “I want to be CEO of the company in 3 years”, start by saying “I want to get a promotion in the next 12 months”. While you shouldn’t rule out the bigger goals in the long run, you need to appreciate the step by step nature of the process.
R – Realistic
and is possibly one of the most important steps when you’re setting and achieving goals. You need to set yourself a goal that you will be able to achieve within your intellectual, financial and physical limits. Setting yourself the goal of running a marathon if you’ve got knee problems or buying a mansion if you’re on a low salary aren’t realistic goals.
They are nice dreams to have, but if you pursue them for too long, you’ll end up becoming depressed and frustrated with your lack of progress. Choose goals that you will be able to complete and you’ll then be able to build on these successes and write new goals.
T – Timely
This relates to how long you’re going to give yourself to reach the goal that you’ve set for yourself. It’s a difficult task as on the one hand, if you make your time scale too short, you may feel like a failure if you haven’t achieved the goal by the deadline.
On the other hand, if you give yourself too much time, you’ll lose the initial energy you got from setting personal goals in the first place. You do need to allow some flexibility to allow for times when life gets in the way of your goals, but try to give yourself a realistic deadline to check in on your smart goals.
Learning to set your goals the smart way will ensure you have a better chance of reaching those goals.
More Effective tips for reaching goals
Goal achievement is much more difficult than most people think. Each one of us has a burning desire to see some changes in our lives; healthier lifestyles, less stress, financial stability and many other positive changes. What most people don't know is that, the implementation of these goals will require more than just the motivation (which is absolutely necessary)if you already have the motivation, then a few tips are all you need and your journey to reaching goals that you have set for your self can start.
Visualize your goals
A lot of concepts and books have emerged lately and are many people's favorites because they give reason and voice to what many of us have been doing intuitively; visualizing the goals that we want in life. This is a major step towards reaching goals since the biggest part of achieving a dream first of all knowing what it is.
As you work on achieving your goals, remember that setting goals is an important step. Here are a few things you can try in order to set clear goals;
Picture where you want to be and identify how different it is from your current situation or what is missing to make your current situation your dream.
Research the benefits of your proposed goals as this will help you stay motivated and keep your eyes fixed on the prize.
Create a vision board for yourself to remind yourself of the target goals and make sure it stays in the forefront of your mind.
Break down the goals
How is it possible to reach your goals and dreams without getting tired and losing motivation along the way? How do I make a lifelong change when it's difficult to maintain a new routine for even two weeks? The answer to these questions lies in breaking big goals into smaller ones! This is also the secret if you want to achieve several goals in the same time frame; it is possible to meet a couple of smaller goals within the same time frame without putting too much pressure on yourself. Here are a few things to consider when breaking down your goals;
Find the large goals and from there identify the steps that build up to the completion of the big goal.
It is often difficult to achieve goals on your own and it is very important to have people that offer you support and keep you motivated while you work towards reaching your goals. Enlist the help of those close to you like family and friends or you can alternatively find a partner or a group of people who have similar goals as yours. If reaching goals that you have set need the help of a professional, then don't shy away from hiring one.
It takes a flexible person to achieve their goals since there may be times that one will feel like they have hit a wall or they just can't move on to the next step .when/if this happens, they will need to sit back for a moment and re-adjust before they can continue.
It takes a lot of hard work to reach the end of your goals and so it would be only appropriate to reward yourself for milestones that you achieve along the way as you wait to get to the grand prize. This will not only keep you motivated but it will also up your self-esteem.
Reaching goals may seem like an uphill task (and it is) but it is not impossible. With the right motivation, determination and a bit of planning, everyone should be able to do it.