As you probably know, our first ever free download launched a few days ago! If you downloaded this free goal setting worksheet, then you probably now have a general idea of what SMART goals are or you may have already been familiar with them before now. Today’s post is going to be all about what they are and why they’re important. We’re also going to review how to set SMART goals that give you results. Sound good? Great! Let’s get to it then!
I worked in banking for a little over 5 years and was constantly having to set goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. At times, these goals seemed outrageous and unachievable, but through careful planning and following the SMART goal model, they became a reality. One of the good things about working there was that I got really good at setting clear goals that got results, especially once I got into leadership roles. At that point, not only was I responsible for setting goals for myself, but also coaching others to set and achieve their goals as well. So, I really do know what I’m talking about, in case you had any doubts.
**Quick note** If you’re familiar with SMART goals already, you might be confused about the ‘R’. I’ve seen it be Results Driven, Relevant, and Realistic. The most common and the one that I’ve used in the past was realistic, which is why I chose to use it for the freebie and this article. 🙂
First things first, what are SMART goals?
To help us get a clear understanding of how to set a SMART goal, we are going to start with a generic goal: I want to lose weight.
- Specific: In my opinion, being specific when it comes to your goals is probably the most important thing. Creating vague goals will most likely get you nowhere. You need to dig a little bit deeper. How much weight are you looking to lose? How are you going to lose it? Including those few things can help you create a clearer idea of what your goal actually is.
- Measurable: The cool thing with being measurable, is that usually, it’s interchangeable with one of the others. In this example, you could say it’s measurable by the amount of weight you’re looking to use, or the date you’re looking to lose it by. Most goals are measurable as long as you use the other components of SMART
- Achievable: The goal that you’re setting needs to be something that you can actually achieve. It ties in pretty closely with being realistic. In order to understand if your goal is achievable, you need to think about the steps you’re going to need to take in order to achieve it and if you can accomplish those steps.
- Realistic: Like I said, this one ties in pretty closely with being achievable. If you’re setting a goal that’s too crazy, you’re never going to achieve it and will most likely get discouraged and move backward. Saying that you’re going to lose 50 pounds in a week isn’t very realistic, so make sure you’re thinking about that when you create your goal.
- Time-bound: This is another very important aspect to any strong goal. If you don’t give yourself a deadline, there really isn’t a sense of urgency. If you set your goal of losing five pounds, but don’t have a specific end date in mind, losing those five pounds could take you a year or longer. Most likely, that’s not what you’re looking for.
How to set SMART goals that give you results
On top of making sure that your goals meet each piece of the SMART model, you want to make sure that you identify how you’re going to get the results you’re looking for. You need to come up with a few action steps that you’re going to take to achieve your goal. This will help you to get even more specific and have a clearer idea of how you’re going to make this goal a reality.
Going back to our vague goal of losing weight, let’s think about what steps you would take in order to achieve this goal. To give you a general idea:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes for a minimum of 4 days a week
- Meal plan to ensure there is healthier eating and no splurging
The final thing that you can do if you’re wanting to know how to set SMART goals that give you results, is to know the WHY behind your goal. Why is this goal important to you? Why did you choose this goal? This is so important because YOU are the deciding factor when it comes to achieving any of your goals. If you really want to achieve the goal, it needs to mean something to you. Just like in any other situation, you’re more likely to do something if it’s important to you or it means something.
What do you do now?
Well, that’s easy. Now you go out and get down to business with your goals. If you haven’t already done so, download my free goal setting worksheet to help get you started. I provide a few more examples of the dos and don’ts in the actual worksheet. If you’re serious about knowing how to set SMART goals that give you results, then do it!
The last and final thing for you to do is reach out to me! Let me know what questions and concerns you might have. Do you need help getting down to the nitty gritty with your goals? Need someone to bounce ideas off of? Shoot me a message! Get to it!