I want to erase the phrase, "failure to reach my goals" from all of my future conversations. Failure happens, but I do not want it to be because I did not try. Setting a goal is one thing, and following through is another. I've decided that from now on, I am going to set SMART goals.
SMART goals can apply to any part of your life, whether it's personal, professional, physical, or financial. Setting SMART goals helps you set a specific goal, that you can measure, that you can attain, that will be relevant, and that you can achieve on a timeline.
The more specific you are with your goals, the greater likelihood that you will achieve them. No matter what type of goal you are setting, whether it's personal, professional, financial, etc., be as specific as you can be in order to get the best results!
- What exactly do you wish to accomplish?
- Where will it take place?
- When will it take place?
- How will you accomplish it?
- Who will be involved?
- What are the conditions and limitations?
- Why do I want to achieve this goal?
- What are the possible alternatives for achieving the same goal?
The next step is to measure your results along the way. Always look for ways to improve. Your results will give you clues on how to do that, so that you can get closer to achieving your goal. Break your goals into measurable elements, and be specific. For example: Drink coffee only four times a week instead of once daily, or check account balances every day, or set up a budget.
Is your goal attainable - will you be able to achieve it? Setting goals that are within reach helps you stay motivated because it feels like they can be accomplished. Sometimes, breaking bigger goals down into smaller steps can help your big goals become attainable.
Weigh the effort, time and cost involved with your goal. Is it still attainable to you? If you don't have the resources, time or talent to put in, you'll either have to re-evaluate how you can attain your goal, or decide that maybe there is another goal that will be attainable.
Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it relevant to you, your personality, and the lifestyle you want? Think about what the results of the goal will be. Do you want those results for your life, and will you be happy? Strive to be your best, strive for the highest level, and strive to choose goals that are relevant to you.
Value your time. Money is a tool, and can always be made, but time is something that can never be regained. Make sure that the time you are putting into this goal is worth it. Come up with deadlines, a plan, stay on track, and set a timeline, so that you can monitor your progress, and see yourself getting closer to your goal. Without a timeline, it's easy to get lost in the chaos!