S.M.A.R.T goals are easy to measure and seemingly easier to obtain. Setting goals is a crucial element in being a successful person — in business and in life. But simply writing down a goal isn’t enough. How many goals have you set this year, and how many have you actually accomplished?

Don’t beat yourself up for not knocking all your goals out of the park. If this is the case for you, you might not be setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T goals bring structure and organization into your objectives. Often our goals can be vague and hard to monitor. When we aren’t setting goals intentionally, they’re very likely to fall to the wayside.

What are S.M.A.R.T goals? 

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant) 
    • What are you trying to achieve? 
    • Ask yourself: 
      • What do I want to achieve exactly? 
      • When?
      • Where? 
      • How?
      • With whom? 
      • What are the limitations? 
      • Why do I want to reach this goal? Are there alternative ways to reach the same objective? 
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating) 
    • This means you can identify exactly what it is you will feel, hear, and see when you reach your goal. You break down your goal into elements that can be measured and require concrete evidence.
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable). 
    • You must investigate whether a goal is realistic and acceptable for you. This means you need to weigh the time and effort your goal will require and if it fits into your profit and costs model. If you don’t have the time, resources, and skills to reach a goal, you’ll be pretty sad when it doesn’t go according to plan. It’s OK to let go of a goal if it genuinely can’t work out. Find a goal that is attainable and follow the other S.M.A.R.T suggestions.
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based) 
    • Is the goal you set relevant or does it just sound good? You have to decide what is relevant to you, your business, your skillset, and personality type. If you currently lack the skills to achieve this goal, set smaller goals to develop your skills in this area. Ask yourself again why you want to reach this goal.
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, timely) 
    • Make strict deadlines for yourself throughout your goal making process. Deadlines motivate us, but they’re only successful if properly followed. Tell your team and an accountability partner what your time frame is and have them check in with you. Be realistic with your schedule or you’ll fall to the same troubles as an unattainable goal. 

Setting goals is a multi-faceted process. One aspect aside from the S.M.A.R.T. requirements is your mindset. Check out our recent guest blog on Shaping Your Attitude Using Affirmations with Molly Painschab.