We’ve definitely heard about SMART goals, but are your goals really SMART? If you want to succeed, or if you find yourself struggling to achieve your goals year after year, know that goals are not just about writing down what you want to achieve. It’s all about setting the direction and knowing what steps you are going to take in order to achieve your goals. Careful planning and consideration can save you the hassle of backtracking and recalibrating. Relook at how you set your SMART goals and start transforming your dreams into reality!
Think of a goal as a destination that you want to go to. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” Take the time to really think about what you want to achieve and be as specific as you can. No vague ideas! Drill down to the nitty gritty details and give yourself a roadmap by asking the 5W1Hs:
– Who can assist me in my goals?
– What do I want to achieve?
– When do I want to achieve it?
– Where can I achieve it? (optional)
– Why do I want to achieve it?
– How can I achieve it?
Remember, without a specific end in mind and a rough idea of how to get there, anywhere you go will be a destination for you.
Just like every road trip, there will definitely be pit stops and signages to tell you if you are on the right track. It’s the same for goals! Metrics and milestones of your goals make it easier to track your progress. These indicators will tell you if you are on the right track or if you need to work harder. Scratching your head on how to quantify your progress? Don’t worry! It doesn’t have to always be about numbers. Qualitative metrics are also useful in tracking your progress.
“Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”. Aim high and dream big, but be realistic! Your goals should be challenging but not impossible. Setting unrealistic goals will only demoralise and discourage you from working towards them. At the same time, don’t set goals that are too easily attainable. No pain, no gain! Keep in mind the possible obstacles that you might encounter and how to overcome them.
Are your goals relevant to your long term plans and what you want to achieve in life? Don’t set goals just because someone asks you to. Don’t set goals just because it’s trendy. Do it because you want to achieve it. Ideally, they should be aligned with your long term plans and values. If not, remember to tweak your goals along the way.
Remember all the times you went on a road trip? We can’t help but to wonder when we will arrive at our destination. This is the same for our goals. It can’t keep going on forever. At some point in time, you would want to see the deliverables and reap the fruits of your labour. Give your goals a realistic deadline. Having a timeline enables you to track your progress easily and manage your expectations. The sense of urgency can also fuel your motivation. Think about what you can achieve a month from now, six months from now, and so forth.
After you set your SMART goals, commit to them! Put those words into action because a goal without action is just a dream. What are you waiting for? Stop dreaming and start planning.