Goal Setting Strategy – Setting SMART Goals
"We want to set goals that our heart conceives, that our mind believes and that our bodies will carry out." said Jim Rohn. We all have dreams of success, but we also know that not everyone achieves them. There have been many attempts to define and articulate what it takes to be successful. One of the most important is not just dreaming, but setting well-defined goals. Without them any action plans we make for financial or personal growth become "plans of inaction", wasted energy with little or no tangible benefit, resulting in frustration or failure.
It is even more important to set SMART Goals. This means creating a written plan that includes specific and attainable short and long objectives. This acronym is used in many areas, sports, business, military, to define the planning stage of a campaign.
Specific – Define what you are going to do. For example, instead of saying to yourself, "I am going to get into shape" Say, "I am going to get into shape over the next 6 months." Then, how are you going to do it. "I am going to be able to run 1.5 km by the end of a month, and increase it by 1.5 km each month".
Measurable – You need to be able to track your progress. Evaluate where you are and set a small measurable goal. For example, "today I was able to run.5 of a km. In 4 weeks I will be able to run 1.5 km". It is a simple concrete goal and you know exactly what you have to do.
Attainable – As above, the goal is not only measurable it is readily achievable. If you had set a goal of being able to run 5 km in 4 weeks, even though it was measurable you probably would have found that it was too much too fast. Not only would you have become discouraged, you might have hurt yourself and risked being out of action for a long time, or even permanently. It is one thing to dream big, but do not set yourself up to fail. It is better to set a series of small goals that you can easily reach and pace yourself on the way up.
Realistic – Make sure that your goals are realistic for you to set. Do you have the time, the personal commitment, the talent to enable you to meet with success? You may dream of running the Boston Marathon, but can you really achieve this. Search yourself and ask yourself what you really want.
Timely – Make yourself a deadline. It is easy to say that you are going to loose 5 pounds (someday) and get fit, (I'll start tomorrow). If you do not have a timeframe, it is difficult to get a sense of the commitment and the effort that is going to be required. Set out a long term goal, and a D-Day for yourself, and measure and track your success in a series of short easily attainable goals. Soon you will find that you will be reaching miles, and your sense of achievement will go way up, it will become easier and easier to keep going as you are able to see more and more of your struggle behind you and your goal becomes clearer and then becomes a reality.