Making SMART goals applies to all goal-setting, personal and professional. To create a SMART goal, your goal should meet the following criteria:
Specific. Your goals should be specific and the more that you define what you want to achieve, the better you can figure out what it is that you need to do to accomplish your goals. The goal should tell who is involved, why it is important (Example: “My goal is to be skinny.” versus “My goal is to lose 25lbs to feel better about my body and to help lower my cholesterol.”)
Measurable. Your goal should have a result that is measurable, so that you have a way to determine whether you are reaching your goal and how far you are reaching your goal. (Example: “My goal is to be lose weight.” versus “My goal is to lose 25lbs.”)
Attainable. Your goal should be realistic and attainable within the scope of your skills, abilities and resources to achieve such a goal. (Example: A 40-year old setting a goal to become an NBA basketball player would not be a very realistic or attainable goal, since the chances of the NBA recruiting a player at that age are slim to none.)
Relevant. This aspect of goal-setting has to do with making sure that the goal has relevance and importance to the goal setter to work and reach his or her intended goals.
Timely. Your goal should have a timeframe for completion, whether it is a goal you are setting to accomplish by the end of the year or with a specific date in mind. This also helps with holding yourself accountable to your goals and gauging where you are with respect to attaining your goal.
One other tip in creating goals for yourself—whether personal or professional. Write down your goals. It is a proven fact that those who write down their goals are more likely to accomplish them. There’s a saying that goes, “Goals that are unwritten are just wishes.” So, write down your SMART goals and find yourself one step closer to accomplishing them.
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