The beginning of the year is always an interesting time. For many it is a time to reflect on the events of the previous year and start to consider what they would like to accomplish in the coming year. This process can be a daunting, especially if the goal(s) you want to accomplish are challenging or left over from the previous year. Regardless of the difficulty of your goals or if they are personal or professional, there is a process that can be followed to ensure that you will meet your goal.
You may have had some one tell you to set a SMART goal. The idea of setting a SMART goal has a much deeper meaning then what it sounds. SMART is actually an acronym to help you meet your goal.
The first step is to be Specific with your goal. You want a goal that is simple in meaning and is clearly defined. Many people set goals that are too broad or ill defined. Next you want your goal to be able to be Measured. For example, say you want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year that means you need to lose roughly 1.6 pounds a month or .4 pounds a week. Measuring a goal is an effective way to stay motivated and to determine your goal is Achievable, which in turn allows you to better define an appropriate goal (specific). Is your goal Relevant or is achieving it relevant? If it is not, then the time and energy to accomplish it might be better used toward a goal that is relevant or the goal needs to be redefined. Is your goal Time bound? A goal needs to have a set amount of time in which you can accomplish it, otherwise it could go on forever without it being achieved. Having a clear time frame also helps measure the progress of your goal and determine if it is achievable. There are two additional steps that can also be used optionally to make you’re your goal SMARTER. Evaluate and Review. Throughout your goal timeline you should be evaluating and reviewing your progress and making appropriate changes as needed. The ultimate objective is setting a goal that you are able to complete, and many time life throws curve balls in the best laid out plans. By constantly evaluating and reviewing your goal, you can ensure that you can accomplish anything you set out to achieve.