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The A, in SMART Goals, represents attainable. When setting goals, be sure to choose a goal that is attainable – your goals should be within reasonable reach for you. Although the goals you set should stretch you out of your comfort zone and excite you, your goals should remain within reach. 

If a goal is impossible to achieve your efforts are futile. It becomes unproductive to put your time and energy toward a goal that will never come to fruition. You will end up losing motivation and feel like giving up if you aren’t able to succeed or celebrate your milestones along the way. Instead, be sure to set a goal that you can accomplish, this way you will keep focus and motivation, and have a chance of greater success. Along with your goal being unattainable, be sure that when you draft your goal, it’s written in a way that allows you responsibility for your goal. You should state your goals in a way that gives you control over the outcome. No one other than you should be the subject of your goal.

You should state attainable goals with success in mind. For example, let’s say you feel that you would benefit professionally from reading more books that pertain to your business. So, your goal might be, “I will read a business related book every night before bed for 20 minutes, with my goal to be to read one business book per month, for 6 months.” This goal is attainable because what you’re asking of yourself is reasonable and achievable. The goal also only involves one person, you, who follows through to ensure success.

Another way to assist attainable goals in being successful is through setting milestone goals. Milestone goals are small goals that you can set along the pathway to your goal. For example, in the instance above, a milestone goal could be to check in with yourself once a week. Checking in on your own accountability is a great way to stay on track. If you have followed through with your goal for the week, in this case, read your business book for 20 minutes every evening, you will know you are making progress toward your goal.

In order to set powerful goals that are achievable, take some time to research the dreams you have to find out if they’re even doable. You do want to challenge yourself some but you don’t want to make the goals so hard that you experience only failure. To ensure maximum success, make sure that your goals meet the following criteria.

Match Your Core Values

The more any goal fits into one of the four main areas of life – Family, Financial, Physical or Personal – the more likely you are to be able to set a realistic goal that you can achieve. If a goal for some reason doesn’t fit into one of your core values, it’s not likely you’ll experience much success.

Be 100 Percent in Control

While goals that rely on others aren’t wrong, they are harder to achieve. Any goal that you control 100 percent is a goal that you can reach. Do ensure that you’re not letting fear get in your way or blaming fate for your failures, though. Self-limiting beliefs can get in your way on this one. Be realistic about whether you do have control or not and give yourself more credit. For example if you think you do not have control over your financial future because “that’s just how it is,” you are mistaken and need to eliminate this line of thinking.

Be Able to Envision the Goal

If you can’t see the end result, it will be very difficult to move forward toward achieving the goal. If you need to draw a picture, make a vision board, or take a day out to fantasize about your big dreams and see how they all fit together in the big picture of your life, do so. You need to see the end to be able to truly achieve it.

Be Spelled Out Specifically

Every goal you make needs to be very specific in nature. If you really want to be sure to reach the goal, you have to know when you reached it. Instead of saying “I want to start a business,” state exactly what type of business you want to start, who you want to be your clients, and other information that makes the goal more concrete.

Be Measurable

At which point have you achieved the goal? If you can’t give a number or something that is measureable, then you won’t have a real goal. If you want to use the business example, you might include that you want to earn x amount of dollars each week by a certain date and then how and why you are going to do it.

Be Actionable

To achieve any goal there has to be steps that you can take to get there. Like using a map to reach a destination that you want to go to on vacation, you need to draw a map to your vision of success with the steps and paths you’ll take along the way. Put not only what but when, and how you’ll accomplish the step.

Be Realistic

You don’t want to write a goal that is too hard to achieve or worse, impossible. Be sure that it’s scientifically possible to do it by researching everything realistically. For example, you’re not likely going to start a business today and earn six figures by tomorrow or even the first year in business. Look at the research and determine what is doable and how you’ll do it.

Be Timely

Every goal has to have a time limit otherwise you may never achieve it. Start with the end and work your way back to today, creating the list of things to do each day to finally reach the end result. But, do set a time limit. You can adjust as you get into the project if it works to be more realistic, but resist the urge to change the time because you’re not sticking to your task lists.

If you use this method to create powerful goals that you can achieve, you will not experience a lot of failure because you can always adjust your time line and your goals as you learn more. The important thing is to give each goal a lot of thought, consideration and study before setting it.

As we already know, tracking or measuring your progress helps secure a greater success rate for your goal. Keep your goals challenging yet attainable and you will be on your way to being successful with your goals.