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It’s a New Day, A New Year, A New Beginning … and like so many others you are likely setting goals and building on your dreams. Most of us have some goals set out for ourselves to improve our lives. We can relate your goals to personal or professional progress. Either way, without goals, there’s not much room for advancement and without the challenge of reaching a goal you’ve set for yourself, life would be stagnant.  But the process in which we set goals for ourselves matters. Although, you are responsible for whether you follow through with the goals you’ve set for yourself, how you set them has a hand in determining how successful you’ll be in achieving them.

The term SMART Goals refers to a process in which you set your goals that will give you greater success. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. The SMART goals method will help you with your organization, focus, and clarity with your goals. Research has shown that using the SMART goals method can save you time and simplify reaching your goals. SMART goals are easy to implement and can be used by anyone with the desire to improve their life by setting and achieving goals.

The SMART Goals method of goal setting works because it lays each step out for you.

The S stands for specific, meaning the goal needs to be clear and specific. When setting a goal for yourself, you must steer away from generalized statements. The more precise the goal is the better.

Your goal needs to be spelled out very precisely. Using language that leaves no doubt as to what the goal is, why you want to achieve the goal, and how you will get there is very important. If you are not able to be detailed in your description of the goal, it will be hard to meet it. Take the time to do this part right.

M is for measurable. Measurable goals refer to tracking your progress. Your goal will be easier met if you can assess progress along the way, giving you more motivation and focus toward your ultimate ambition. You should be able to use this as a metric for which to determine success. If your goal can’t be quantified, then it’s not a full goal and you won’t know how to tell when you’ve succeeded. An example of a measurable goal is something like: “I want to add 100 dollars per week of income to our bank by writing five 500-word articles each week for a life coach.”

Next, A. The A is for attainable/actionable/assignable. Although your goals should help stretch you outside of your comfort zone and push you to the next level, it’s important that the goals you set remain achievable. The preference to really get something good done is to make your goal actionable, meaning something where you can do something for each day that will eventually result in an accomplished goal. Goals should also be achievable or you will only get frustrated. Be accurate about the time it takes to reach a goal, and what actions it takes to get there. Also, know who will be responsible for doing it.

R, relevant goals are imperative to your success. Remember in the lesson 1 a, we talked about testing your dreams. If you want your goal to succeed, it should most certainly be something that is relevant and realistic or you will fail. It should also be relevant to your life’s vision and match with your values. This means that the goals you set should be important to you and aligns well with your life and other goals you have set.

Finally, T, for time bound and trackable. Your goals should have a deadline to achieve them. This will help keep you on track and focused, and give you opportunities to celebrate your small wins along the way. If you don’t set a time limit and you can’t track what is happening, your goal will be hard to quantified or show as achieved.

The important thing is that you need to have a process to help you make smart goals. Smart goals are goals that you follow through on achieving and know when you’ve met them.

By implementing the SMART Goals system, you will gain the ability to achieve your goals, faster and with a higher success rate.