How to Set Smart Goals and Achieve Them

Friday, June 18, 2021
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Goal setting is a helpful way to plan for your future. By setting objectives and creating a blueprint for reaching your intended goal, you can manage time and make progress. It can take time for plans to progress, but the outcome is worth it. Without goals, one can't possibly learn valuable lessons and progress in a positive way through  life. 

Below are steps to take to set smart goals and how to attain them.


Smart Goals Defined

Used in strategic planning by government, industry, consulting groups, small businesses, and non-profit organizations, most successful firms and groups use SMART goals to reach their targeted aim.

S. The S in SMART goals stands for Specific, which means that you make your goals specific and narrow for more effective planning.

M. The M stands for Measurable, which is the evidence or proof that you are making progress and reevaluating when necessary.

A. The A represents Attainable, which means you can accomplish your destination within a reasonable and specific timeframe.

R. The R signifies Relevant, which means that your goals align with your values and long-term objectives.

T. Lastly, the T represents Time-based, which designates that you set a realistic or ambitious end-date for task prioritization and motivation. 

The SMART method is an increasingly popular goal-setting method that considers whether a goal is specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time-based.

Some of us may set goals that are difficult to achieve because they are too vague or have no time limit, making them easy to brush off or forget. Working toward a poorly crafted goal can feel challenging and unattainable. Creating SMART goals can help solve these kinds of problems. Whether setting personal or professional purposes, using the SMART goal framework can establish a strong foundation for success.


Identifying Goals

We make hundreds of decisions daily, and most of these decisions are about our future. We know what we want the outcome to be, and it is important to brainstorm and organize our thoughts and actions. I suggest writing your  short-term and long-term ambitions with the SMART framework in mind. Take the time to organize the outcomes you want and review them daily. 


Setting Goals

To set a goal, you must consider what you want to complete and then commit to it. Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) goals that motivate you, and write them down to make them feel real. Then plan the pace you must take to achieve your destination and cross off each one as you work through them. Scribbling down your goals helps you keep track of them. To set a compelling goal, you must: decide what you want, ask yourself how you will feel after doing that particular goal, find illustrations or souvenirs that will make you motivated to attain this dream, and remind yourself of your target every day to feel driven. Follow your step-by-step plan to do what you need to do every day to keep getting to that target and get started! By setting clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in achieving them at each step of the way. You will see progress in what might previously have seemed an extended road. You will also recognize your ability and competence to achieve your set goals.


Sharing Goals

Share your goals with others! Receiving feedback and ideas about your set goals can help you tweak and analyze plans and give you the support or confidence you need to keep working towards them. Sharing your plans with others may help you clarify and sharpen your goal. One piece of advice: share your goals and plans with people you trust!


Defining Success

The word successful means the achievement of desired visions and planned goals. Realize that every person defines success differently, so there cannot exist a suitable definition. You must know precisely how to define success in your own life and be happy about even the small successes through your journey.  (Hint: if you determine what you want to do in life, you can make specific and realistic goals). The true definition of success goes far beyond having a lot of money, being wealthy, having many tangibles, and earning degrees. The true meaning of success is living your own happy life and making your dreams into reality. My advice to you is if you fail something, do not let it get to you. Stand up and start over; it's all part of the process.


Goal Results

Even the accomplishment of a subsidiary goal is cause for celebration. Don't depress yourself with thoughts about all that you still have to do. Celebrate what you have done. Then move on to the next milestone. If you put time and effort into your goal setting, then the results will speak for themselves. It is essential to be resilient in the face of adversity. Reassess your goals and make alterations when you feel it is necessary to do so. Also, keep in mind that if you finish a goal that you have set, you can reward yourself because it is the result of pure hard work and determination.

Savoring how it feels to chase your goal is useful for maintaining motivation long term, says Brad Stulberg, a performance coach and co-founder of the Growth Equation. Think of goals as your guide for the right way to pave your way for the future.


Goal Achieved, Now What?

After achieving goal completion, you will feel like you are ready for the future. You have overcome a hurdle in your life, congrats! Here are a few things to reflect on after achieving success:

Stay Humble and set new goals.

While you've made significant progress, stay focus and active, there is always room to improve, so don't get too confident that you stop setting new goals!

Ignore Critics.

Haters, critics – they are all the same. Whenever you achieve something, there will always be people who will try to drag you down. Ignore them. Focus on yourself, that's what matters. Of course, there will be times when people doubt you; however, keep fighting and achieving!


Learning from Goals

Our experiences allow us to learn and modify our behavior and make us better at decision making and problem solving, which all goes back to leading us on a path of success. Here are a few closing thoughts as you set and work towards your SMART goals.

Consider every challenge as a message. You need to learn from your mistakes. Don't avoid them out of fear; challenges are messages of growth.;Accept challenges wholeheartedly. Sometimes, we want to run away from our dilemmas. Remember to see each difficulty as an asset. View changes as opportunities and mistakes or failures as a chance to modify your plans and approach to your goals. You will grow with every trouble met and learn from every risk taken.

See the good in everything. Have you lost your favorite pair of gloves? Maybe it is a sign to buy new, higher quality ones. It is challenging to see the good in everything. Do not pressure yourself into thinking that everything is okay all the time, but try to see what positive things come from the hurdles you experience.  Just remember to be grateful for the journey that is leading you to your dreams!