If you are like me, you might have lots of big ideas and goals, but at the same time, have difficulties making them happen. However, I’ve recently discovered SMART goals, and they make a world of difference.
SMART goals enable you to look at solutions in a more organized way by asking yourself to plan carefully and measure your progress. Well-thought-out goals are easier to accomplish because they guide us to where we need to go.
If you have trouble making a difference in your life, you’d probably benefit from creating SMART goals. Let’s talk about how this system can improve your life and enable you to change for the better.
What are SMART goals?
We all want to be SMART, but what about SMART goals? If you haven’t heard of them, don’t worry, I’ve only recently discovered them, but they have made a world of difference in my life.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
While the meaning of these words should be reasonable, let’s break them down and explain a little more about what they mean.
when we set a goal, we need to be clear about what we are expecting or what we plan to get out of our actions. If you say you want to be rich, there are millions of ways to do that, but it will be impossible without a specific plan or process.
Without a way to measure what you are getting done, it is impossible to know if you are making any progress. Constructing your goals in a way that you can keep track of your progress will force you to do measurable actions.
While it might sound nice to have ambitious goals if you have no chance of making them happen, they serve you no purpose. We always want to ensure we are working towards possible outcomes, as we will have little motivation otherwise.
Our goals need to be related to the skills and experience we have. Accomplishing any project will be difficult, but if we ensure what we are working towards something we can do, we are much more likely to find success.
You could probably do anything you wanted if there was no limit on your time, but that is not how life works. So we need to keep track of our time and make it a part of our goals, that way, we will be better able to keep track of our progress.
SMART goals are easier to accomplish because we are clear about what we are working towards, and we take into account our abilities and what we can do. They also force us to be accountable because they have time limits and need to be measurable.
What are the advantages of SMART goals?
There are many advantages to SMART goals, but the biggest one is that they make it easier to accomplish what we set out to do. Often we only have a vague sense of what we are trying to accomplish, so we never really know if we’ve been successful or not.
They give us the confidence to accomplish other goals.
When you see success in what you are working towards, you gain confidence which makes it easier to repeat in the future. Keeping track of your progress also helps you see that your actions are making a difference.
SMART goals force us to be realistic.
Because these sorts of plans ask us to be relevant and achievable; we are more likely to pick the types of goals that we can get done. If we aren’t realistic, we will likely become more disappointed rather than satisfied.
SMART goals help us visualize our goals.
As these goals need to be specific, they require us to think clearly about what we are trying to achieve. Visualizing what we are working towards helps us get a better sense of what we will need to do to get where we are trying to go.
SMART goals help you quit before you waste too much time.
Measuring your progress will give you a sense of how well you are doing. It also forces us to reflect on our goals and what they mean to us. If you aren’t making any progress, it might be helpful to pivot, but without tracking your progress, there is no way to know when that time has come.
SMART goals allow you to focus your energies.
Because you are clear about what you need to do from the start; it is clear what you need to do each step of the way. If goals aren’t specific, then any action can be for or against them. But with specification, we force ourselves to be focused on activities that contribute towards our goals.
While there are many different benefits to SMART goals, the most important one is that it helps us accomplish our goals.
Why should you adopt SMART goals?
There are many reasons you should adopt SMART goals; let’s talk about some of them.
SMART goals help us be clear about what we are working towards.
If you are having trouble accomplishing your goals, it might be happening because you aren’t clear or don’t know what you are working towards. Setting SMART goals requires being clear about what you are working towards, which forces precision in our actions.
SMART goals force us to use our time wisely.
As we are regularly reminded of how well we are using our time with a time limit and regularly measuring our progress. If we are wasting time and not hitting our timeline, we need to step up our game or rearrange our goals.
You are reminded of what matters and where you need to put your time.
Because SMART goals force us to be clear about what we are working towards, they also clarify what matters and where we should be putting our time. It is easy to waste time if you aren’t working towards anything in particular.
You want to get things done, but you don’t have a process.
We all have ambitions and things we want to accomplish, but getting anywhere without a solid plan is almost impossible. SMART goals give us something to work towards and help us establish a process that enables success.
If you are not using the SMART framework, you might not be getting the most out of your goals. While this process might not be suitable for you, learning to be more clear about your goals will make a massive difference in the long run.
Examples of SMART goals that have changed my life
I’ve recently used smart goals to accomplish two pretty huge things in my life; let me share those experiences with you.
Earlier this year, I was worried about my health; I always felt terrible and thought something was wrong. At the time, I thought it was because of work, as I wasn’t getting up very much and just spent the whole day staring at my screen.
My goal was to get healthy, but my actions started when I moved my bike onto a stand and placed it in the living room. This change made the effort more accessible because the bike was always in my face. At the same time, it was a particular goal, ride the bike for 30 minutes every day.
If anything, riding the bike was realistic because I’d done it before, and it was in a place that I couldn’t avoid. It was achievable because I knew I could ride every day, and I wasn’t too concerned about how much weight I wanted to lose.On top of this, it was measurable because I was either riding or not.
At first, I planned to do it for only a week, but after that, I had noticed a difference, and now 11 months later, I’ve hardly missed a day.
While I had a timeline at the start, that time limit has gone away and riding the bike is more of a habit now. While that wasn’t the original plan, there isn’t much point in stoping something that is working out well.
Over the last 11 months, I have lost over 30 pounds and feel much healthier than I did last year at this time. For me, my SMART goal made a world of difference and enabled me to develop better habits.
The second goal was to write 100 articles before the end of the year, which was a particular goal with a time limit. It is also something I can achieve as writing is something that I enjoy doing.
While I am not going to go into the details, it is clear how it was a SMART goal, and while I’ve already achieved it, it has turned into a habit that I’ve kept up with even after accomplishing what I set out to do.
If you aren’t using SMART goals, then you might find it an advantage to try and use them, and hopefully, I’ve convinced you of their value through this article.
Now it is your turn. Are you using SMART goals? And if so, what advantages have you found that they have? Would you consider using this system if you aren’t already?