Why do we set goals? It has practically become ingrained in our society that in order to progress in life, we must first decide that a change needs to be made, which leads to establishing a goal. From New Year’s Resolutions to quarterly board meetings focused on company growth, goal setting is all around us and is a part of our everyday lives, regardless if we like it or not. Despite this fact, most goals that are set are not achieved. To illustrate this point, let’s consider our New Year’s resolutions…did you know that 95% of all resolutions established each new year are forgotten before the end of January? Yep, this is a fact that many of us find hard to swallow, but that’s reality. You may be asking yourself ‘Why do so many resolutions go unfulfilled?’ I can tell you that one reason our goals are not met could be the types of resolutions people are setting for themselves. Most resolutions and goals are unrealistic, unattainable, and thus, they actually set us up for failure and not success.
how does one know if they have set an appropriate, helpful, realistic goal?There is a process of evaluation that is useful in determining if a goal is positive and productive… and a useful goal has 5 qualities outlined by the acronym: S.M.A.R.T. So what does this mean?
How can you begin establishing SMART goals for yourself?
SPECIFIC – You need to be as specific as possible regarding what your goal. What, exactly, do you hope to achieve or accomplish? This includes the 5 W’s – Who, What, When, Where, & Why.
MEASUREABLE – Ensure that you are able to determine how you are progressing towards achievement of your goal. How will you evaluate your level of progression towards meeting your goal? How often do you plan to conduct a progress evaluation? How quickly do you intend to actualize your resolution
ACHIEVABLE – Ensure that you are realistic when setting your New Year’s resolution to ensure that you do not set yourself up for disappointment by setting your sights too high. While goals and resolutions push our limits or encourage us to step outside of our comfort zones, they are not meant to stretch us until we snap. Ensure that you challenge yourself while remaining realistic about what is and is not possible to achieve.
RELEVENT – How does your New Year’s resolution pertain to your life objectives? Will it help you get a step closer to a longer-term goal you have set for yourself or does it tie into your life’s key responsibilities? Will it improve you overall quality of life and bring you more happiness? Answers to these questions will determine if a goal is helpful for you overall.
TIME SPECIFIC – Determine a specific date for goal achievement and set the frequency of progress evaluation to ensure that procrastination doesn’t get between you and your goal.
So, the next time that you sit down to set a goal that will move you closer to where you want to be in life, love or business, ask yourself “Is this a SMART goal to set for myself?” and use this guide to determine what is and is not realistically attainable for you.