The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Achieving SMART Goals

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SMART: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-bounded
SMART Goals or Objectives

Although it’s very essential to find and have a bigger life purpose, yet not everyone has a bigger life purpose nor everyone can achieve such life goals in his life.

In a research, it was found that 20 percent of the people, who are rich and successful in their lives, have their own life purposes and 85 percent of them work for their goals on daily basis. But on the other hand, the remaining 80 percent of the population who are not successful and rich – don’t have their life purpose clear to them.

So, they don’t work for life goals. They just work for their livelihood.

Have you ever noticed why most of the people are not successful? What actually the difference is between successful and the failures? How we can place ourselves in the list of successful people?

In my view, The major difference between them is setting SMART goals.

Those who are successful are the ones who set SMART goals. And the failures are the people who never set SMART goals.

Why it’s important to set SMART Goals?

When it comes to the question, Why it’s important to set goals? Truly speaking, People who have clear purposes and work for the goals are ruling over all of the fields of life. And the people who have unclear goals and don’t actually work for the goals are the losers of all fields. That’s why it’s important to set SMART goals so that you could achieve your goals.

How can you set SMART goals:

If you are one of the majority who could not achieve goals or even don’t know how one should set goals, then don’t worry.

The technique of SMART goal can help you to set clear, realistic and achievable goals that motivate people to keep ongoing.

The technique of setting smart goals is the most effective way that will totally change your approach.  Using this strategy will help you achieve any of your life goals and objectives.
Your dreams will come true.

Otherwise, you will sooner realize that your dreams are no longer dreams but wish that will become regrets at the end of your life.

I’m sure you won’t let your dreams become regrets but you will certainly use the technique to achieve your goals so that you could feel fulfilled and successful in your life.

That’s why you are here at this page and reading the article word by word. You know, only 28 percent of the readers read the full article and only those are really sincere about the topic. And without sincerity, you don’t get anything.

If you are sincere to set SMART goals the Following discussion is for you.

So let’s move forward to understand what actually SMART goals are?

The term first time was used by George T. Doran in November 1981. The principal advantages of SMART objectives are that they are easier to understand and to know when they have been done. SMART criteria are commonly associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept. However, it’s applicable in all fields of life.

Meaning of SMART goals:

Before we discuss how to set smart goals; we should understand the term SMART. You should know what does smart stand for in smart goals.

The term smart in smart goals or objectives stands for:

  • S for Specific
  • M for Measurable
  • A for Achievable
  • R for Realistic or relevant
  • T for Time-bounded

So we can define the smart goals or objectives as SMART goals are the goals which can easily be understood that what exactly someone is looking for in how much time and how is that person going to achieve that goal.

Now let’s underhand how you can use this technique to set and achieve your goals or objectives.

Specific:

In the term smart stands for specific.

It means what exactly do you want and how will you achieve those goals and the most important part are why do you want to achieve that objective?

While talking about specific its essential to answer the W’s what, why, where, when about your goals.

But to me, “where” isn’t that much important as to acquaint with the questions that relate to what and why?

I have learned in my life that a person who is clear about the goal that what exactly that person wants and what is the reason behind it, it means that person has the ability to achieve that goal. Actually, when you can answer these two most important questions that what exactly do you want and what is the reason behind it then you get automated intrinsic motivation that is far better than any other motivation.

Let’s elaborate with an example:

For example, you set a goal that you want to lose weight. This isn’t a smart goal. Its accomplishment is far difficult than setting and achieving a smart goal.

Here you can know why you should set smart goals. That is when you set smart goals, you get mental satisfaction and feel the pleasure of achievement. On the other hand, if you don’t set a smart goal, even you achieve a goal, you don’t get that satisfaction.

For example, in the above goal, that is actually not a smart goal, if you lose some weight you won’t be satisfied because you were not clear that how much weight do you want to lose, and you won’t get satisfied with your struggle.

On the other hand, if you want to turn this goal into a smart goal, you would need to specify how much weight do you want to lose.

For example, smart goals will be as follows.
“I will lose 6 pounds weight in 2 months so that I could look handsome.” In this example, you can easily understand what you are looking for and why?

A question can come into your mind that why it is essential to answer the reason behind your goal while it doesn’t have a direct relationship with the goals or achievements.

You were even able to set a goal as I will lose some weight, then why you need to figure out the reason behind a goal or objective?

The answer to the question is whatever we do we do for a reason, and when we realize that reason then we actually figure a force of pain or pleasure working behind that goal.

You can tell yourself that as you’re overweight, you don’t look handsome and as you will lose some weight, you will look great.

You actually visualize the pain that you don’t look so much good, and also feel the pleasure that after losing weight, you will look handsome.

Measurable:

When you want to make a SMART goal, it’s essential that you make it measurable.

As we have seen in the previous example if someone set a goal that he wants to lose weight. It’s not a SMART goal. The SMART is when someone elaborates and be clear about the goal.
Someone becomes more specific and make a goal measurable, then the goal is a SMART goal.

Measurable goals are the goals about which we are clear in how much amount or quantity we want that goal. So you will need to be clear, how much weight do you want to lose?

Example to understand measurable:

You set a goal that you want to make a huge amount of money.  So you say that my goal is to be rich. This is actually not a SMART goal.

In the goal, you were not clear that what exactly rich does mean to you? After how much amount you will consider yourself rich?

So if your goal is to be rich, as most of the people have, then you should be clearly set SMART goals as follows:

My goal is to make 50 million dollars so that I would be financially free and will travel the world. As you see that your goal is specific here because you’re clear that why do you want to achieve that goal? Because you need money to live a financially tension free life and travel the world.

And it’s measurable as well, because being rich you mean to have 50 million dollars.

Attainable:

In research, it was found that at every new year, most of the people set goals, but 92% percent of them never achieve their goals. The reason behind these failures was found that 92 percent of the people who don’t achieve their goals, actually don’t set SMART goals. Their goals were never been attainable for them.

But SMART goals are always the ones, which are attainable for you.

Example to understand attainable goals:

You set a goal that you want to run an online business in the next year.

To make this goal SMART and achieve this goal, you need to answer the following questions:

How much clear are you with your goal? In the following goal, which online business do you want to run? Do you have enough money to run the business for a year? Because you may not make money from the business in the first year, as Amazon didn’t in the first three years.

In the question, you can also ask yourself that if you don’t have money from where will you get that money, do you have resources from where you can easily make the required money?

In which field do you have expertise? Is that relevant to the goal you set? Do you have experts that are required to assist you in your business?

So, if you can’t answer the questions it means you may not achieve your goal. Because the goal is not achievable for you and hence not a SMART one.

Relevant or Realistic:

In the SMART goals, it is checked whether your goals are relevant to your dreams and wishes or not.  And also verified that either your goals is realistic or not. If your goal is not relevant or realistic to your other goals or reasons, then it will not be a SMART goal.

Let’s elaborate it with examples:

If you make a goal that in the next year you will buy a Mercedes so that you could travel the world. Then it’s not a relevant or realistic dream. Because as you dream to travel the world, then you need money, not a Mercedes.

So, your dreams can be a SMART objective, if they are as follows:

  • I will make 60 thousand dollars in 12 months so that I could buy my favorite car, Mercedes.
  • I will make one million dollars in the next 5 years so that I could buy my favorite house.

Time-bounded:

All of the SMART goals are time-bounded if a goal is not time-bounded then it’s not a SMART goal.

Let’s understand the time-bounded goals with examples:

If you set a goal that you will lose your weight.
I’m sure you have now the idea that it’s not a SMART goal.  And even you make a goal to lose 10 pounds, still, it’s not a SMART goal.

When are not clear when you shall accomplish your goal, at what period you will be accountable for your achievement, then it’s not a SMART objective.

In such a situation, you will give yourself relaxation in time, and you will never achieve your goal.

And when you realize that you have to accomplish your goal in a month, then you will start working on your goal in the very next moments.

That’s why it’s very necessary to be time-bounded in setting goals because it’s a sort of motivation as well.

So “To lose 10 pounds weight within 6 months to look handsome” is a smart goal.

Achieving smart goals:

Making goals smart was an important thing but achieving the smart goals is also the other debate that can’t be ignored while discussing smart objectives. It’s important to notice that even after setting smart goals, most of the people why can’t achieve their goals?

There must be at least a few people around you who have a great IQ, but they are still living an unsuccessful life. As you observe their lives, you notice that there are some important factors that make people successful but they don’t adopt those factors.

The most common example is of story writers and poets. Definitely, people are too much sensitive and brilliant in their field. But you notice that not all of them live a successful life. I strongly believe that if those people act upon the factors that we are going to discuss here, they all will become successful in their lives.

So now let’s examine those factors which had a great influence on people’s life according to researchers.

Make a plan:

To achieve the goal, the most important factor is to make a plan; the plan means a to-do list.

What steps will you take to be successful and how will you take those steps? Because until you’re not sure how you will achieve your goal, it means you can never take good steps to meet your objectives.

Write them down:

In a research by Prof. Dr Gail Mathews, (download here to study), it was noticed that those who had written their goals and they observed their performance, 76 percent of them achieved their goals that were 33 percent more in percentage than the students who didn’t write their goals.

While writing goals, it should also be written that how will you achieve your goals, what ways do you see by which you can accomplish your goals and what you will not do. It will bring you closer to your goal.

If you’re free right now, I can give an exercise to realize the difference between writing and not writing your objectives.

I’m sure most of the readers won’t go for the exercise but I strongly suggest you do this exercise, if you don’t have time, then you can come later here for the exercise.

Set yourself free from all other tensions, and take paper and a pen. Write all of the goals that you want to achieve in the next 10 or 20 years of your life. These goals will be your big life goals.

I suggest you choose only those goals that actually mean to your life or your family. For example, if you want to make money and the reason is to inspire others, then it is not your objective. It won’t satisfy you at the end. But if your reason is to make yourself or your family happy then it can be your own life purpose.

After writing big purposes or targets of your life, now write down some small smart goals that you want to achieve in the next year or in a few months. These goals can be about getting a job or personal development goals. You may set goals to learn some skills, or you may want to do some courses.

After that, write down all the possibilities that you have in your mind by which you will achieve each of your objectives. What steps will you take to be successful in your life? Now prioritize your goals, keep the most important one at the top and the second most important in the second position. Now chose only one goal or at most top 2 goals on which you can work.

If you have completed this exercise, I may not need to tell you the difference between writing or not writings the objectives. You can feel yourself how much effective it can be to write your smart targets in achieving your smart goals.

Evaluate your performance on a weekly basis:

In the process to achieve your smart goals and be successful in your life, you always need to be accountable to yourself.

Actually, in the term SMART, A can be referred to as accountable.

If you won’t check out your performance then it means there are very few chances that you will achieve your goals on time. So if you want to make something happen then its always essential to note down your performance.

Make your goals public:

The other most important factor that I have noticed in my life is that when we make our goals public, we become more sensitive in achieving that goal.

So after setting SMART goals, you should make them publically available; you should tell your fellows what do you want to do in the following month or year.

The two important fruits for making goals public is that you will notice the flaws in your objectives, as your fellows will criticize your goals, you will come more realistic to answer those questions.

The other thing is that you also have a bit of fear that if you leave the goal then it can disgrace you.

Both of the reasons will motivate you to achieve your objectives.

If you have something that can help anyone in setting or achieving SMART goals, then share with us in the comments box and let people know your story. And if you found it helpful then share it with your fellows you want to see successful.

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