Goal setting is an essential part of our lives.
Every day we set goals and often times we don’t realize it. It could be small things like waking up at a certain time, making breakfast before work or school, doing chores around the house, and so on. You might be asking yourself, “What is goal setting?” The definition of goal setting is establishing something you wish to do, have, or obtain, and mapping out the ways you can achieve it. So how can we use goal setting for much bigger things? Think of this blog as a “goal setting how-to” guide.
Why Goal Setting is Important:
Before we show you how to set great goals and achieve them, we must first explain the important of goal setting. Setting goals gives you a sense of direction. These goals allow you to achieve something you really want. Goal setting will further help you stay organized by giving you a vision of what you want. This type of planning can provide the motivation to get things done.
SMART Goal Setting:
SMART is an acronym that is used for those who want to set goals. While the meanings for each letter in SMART can vary, the most common meanings are as follows:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-based
Think of these meanings as a foundation, or guide, to setting the best possible goals for yourself. They can be used for professional and personal goals.
Your goals should always be as clear as possible. Think about a time you were asked to do something that wasn’t very clear. Did unclear goals make it harder to do accomplish your objective? More often than not, the answer is yes. No one wants to deal with muddy waters, we as people like clear-cut direction. This is no different with setting goals. Keep your goals specific.
All goals need to be measureable. How else will you know if you’re making progress? How will you know when you’ve achieved your goals? A great way to keep your goals measurable is to set checkpoints/milestones. Checkpoints/milestones will help you keep track of progress as you continue to move towards your goal. Think of it as setting numbers. Thus an example would be turning your goal of “I want to clean up the house” into “I want to do five household chores today.”
It’s always important to push yourself. However, with goal setting, ensure that your goals are reasonable. A lot of times when we set goals, specifically with long-term goals, we have unreasonable expectations. A common mistake long-term goals is that we don’t allot ourselves enough time. When you set your goals, determine if you can reasonably achieve it short-term or if there are steps needed to achieve it down the road.
When we speak of relevance here, we mean is it relevant to YOU. Ask yourself when you set a goal: Is this important to me? Does it match up with my values? Will it help me achieve more long-term goals? How does this help me in general? Why am I setting this goal specifically? If you can answer all of these questions and you still want to achieve this goal, then you have an incredibly relevant goal.
What is your time-frame to achieve this goal? Setting a specific time or date has two key benefits: motivation and organization. Setting deadlines can thus light a fire under you to give you that extra push to do something. Deadlines further allow you to create prioritized steps to accomplish a goal so you have a guide to success.
To leave you with a little extra motivation, here is one of the many great quotes on goal setting: