Great goal setting is an art and a science. Written correctly, goals clarify what you want to achieve and define how you’re going to get what you want.
A goal is not a dream. A goal is something you can reasonably accomplish within the timeframe you’ve allotted. It doesn’t involve lottery tickets or wishes upon stars. Its accomplishment will be the result of hard work and dedication.
To write compelling, achievable goals, we make use of SMART goals. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic and Time-bound.
Writing goals in this way takes more time and thought upfront, but greatly increases the likelihood that you will accomplish them. Let's walk through an example of getting in better shape below.
Specific goals refer to the area you plan to work on. Get in better shape is vague. Improve my running speed is specific.
Goals should be quantifiable. Continuing with our example, improve my running speed is not measurable and doesn't clarity what you intend to achieve. Running can involve anything from a 50m dash to a 100-mile ultramarathon. And improve can mean a one second improvement or a 10-minute improvement. Let's fix this:
It's well-documented that people are more likely to achieve their goals if they have a form of accountability. You can do many things to set accountability. You can tell your partner what you plan to achieve and why or post to social media that you’re using this journal to help you achieve your goals this quarter. It's up to you!
When you set the scope and deadline of your goals, it’s easy to be overly ambitious. Typically, we overestimate how much we can achieve in shorter timeframes. If you’re starting something new, you might not even know what a realistic goal is. Keep this in mind when deciding your goals, and do some research if you're unsure what is realistic.
Goals should always have deadlines. This helps to make the goal definitive - which is the most important aspect of goal setting. Without a deadline, you don't define if you want to see this improvement of 4 weeks, 4 months, or 4 years. You can’t set up a plan to accomplish a goal that isn’t time-bound.
With all this, here's our SMART goal:
You can do this for yourself using these worksheets.
Or purchase the Progress Planner!!!
Great goal setting can radically change your life by providing a legitimate path to guide you.