“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, was probably the most famous quote from my teachers in high school. The reason for this obviously was because when you are in high school, your priorities are very different. Our teachers had to remind us of the importance of setting goals and putting in the required efforts to achieve it. If you are anything like me, I memorized the quote, wrote down “get all As this term” and went about living life as usual. I did not get all As if you were wondering.
Take a little trip down memory lane with me. How many goals did you set last year? How many of those goals did you achieve? If you answered all, then you might not need to keep reading this post. If you answered some or none, then by all means give this a try.
A lot of times when we right down goals, a closer look at them reveals they are mere wishful thinking. What sets both apart is this: Goals are SMART. How can a goal be SMART? I learned this principle from a book I read a while ago Leadership and the one minute manager by Ken Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi and Drea Zigarmi.
SMART as you might have figured out is an acronym. Let’s see what it actually stands for.
S stands for Specific. Your goals have to say what exactly and when it will be completed. A good example: I am going to be a superstar – Wishful thinking; I am going to be a professional actress in two years – A goal
M is for Motivating. If you have no real interest in your goal, then chances are they become unachievable. I personally have zero interest in becoming a medical doctor so, if I set a goal to become one and don’t get admission into medical school, I will without thinking twice apply to something else. Goals are often set because they require a plan and a lot of times things don’t go exactly as planned- that’s life. What keeps you going when this happens, is the motivation to see it through.
R stands for Relevant. An achievable goal is always part of a bigger picture. Let’s call that the end goal or your dream. Referring back to my previous example, If my dream is to become a famous Hollywood star, then that goal is probably the first step to get me there. There will be of course be subsequent goals like finding an agent or moving to LA, but I am knocking out obstacles one at a time.
T is the final word, Trackable. For your goal to be achievable, it has to be measurable. There has to be a way to track your progress. Again, using the same example. Knowing that I have two years to be a professional actress, I can track and evaluate the goal at various points such as; when I get admission to film school or how well I’m doing in a semester etc.
Now that we have learned how to properly set achievable goals, let’s go kick some goals a$$!
If you enjoyed this post or want to share how you set your own goals with me let me know in the comment section.