COMPLETE GUIDE TO GOAL SETTING
Converting an idea or a dream into a reality… What steps do you take in order to create actionable goals? How do you know if a goal is structured properly?
Structuring a goal in a SMART way is a great start to know if you have a goal that has potential to evolve into a reality. SMART is an acronym for the following:
S-Specific: Specific means that your goal is not just an idea, but it has a specific purpose. For example, you are not just saying, “I want to go to the gym more often”, you are being specific with your goal when you structure your goal in a specific way saying, “I will be going to the gym 4 days a week in order to have more energy and feel better.” You can get even more specific, but the basic purpose of being specific is changing the perspective from an idea and translating it into a statement where you bring in detailed concepts.
M – Measurable: Measurable means that the goal has specific ways to measure its success. This is done by using numbers, dates or anything else that you can count. Basically, you want to use measurables that are part of your goal. For example, “I will be going to the gym 4 days a week, eat at least 1 salad a day in order to lose 10 pounds in 2 months.” This example tells you exactly the end result and allows you to measure if you are keeping up with your goal or if you are not… You can also structure your goal with people. For example, making 10 calls per day, speaking with 5 clients per day, etc.
A-Actionable/Attainable: Actionable or attainable means that you are taking actions in order to reach your goal and attainable means that the goal is within your reach. Very similar concepts because both words focus on the movement of how to get things done.
In order to be successful, you want to translate your dream into the action steps that you can take and start implementing so that the goal becomes a reality. This step is the beginning of the action plan that you will put in place. An example of an actionable goal is “I will go see my physical trainer in order to create a fitness plan. Then, I will build a calendar of events in order to stay on track on my weight loss. I will also schedule an appointment with a nutritionist”. If you notice, this part is taking into account resources and tools that you need in order to translate into actions – physical trainer, nutritionist, gym, etc.
R-Relevant – Relevant is about how to make your life better by focusing on this goal. For example, how does this goal translate to your life and the primary reason why you are focusing on this goal in particular… An example is “Losing weight will allow me to have a better life and be more active participating in activities with my family. As a result, I will have more energy to do more things and improve my overall wellbeing”. The ultimate purpose, the ultimate reason why you want to reach your goal.
T-Timely – When it comes to goal setting, establishing timed parameters is very important as it is the benchmark of when you will complete the desired goal. An example of using time based goals is breaking down the goal into a realistic timeline. “I will lose 1.5 pounds every week for the next 5 weeks in order to stay on track on my weight loss.” This timeline tells you where you should be after week 1. It also gives you a realistic viewpoint into where you should be after the first week and keeps you accountable.
The SMART Goals approach is a great way to get started on setting goals so that you can learn the steps to how to make your life better. This process is a starting point and puts you in the right mindset to work on your self-development.