What are SMART goals exactly? This article will discuss why goals are important, how to effectively use your time and resources with SMART goals, and how these goals can give you a specific, clear plan that works every time.
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Why Do People Fail To Achieve Their Goals?
It is difficult to set SMART goals and achieve them. Many people fail. Scranton University’s study found that only 8% achieve their New Year’s goals. This means that 92% of those who set new years goals fail.
Many people view goals such as New Year’s resolutions as wishes and hopes. People hope to lose weight, start a business or get a better job. There is a problem with “hoping” or “wishing” for something. There is no plan, no goal, and no timeframe for achieving them.
These hopes and desires are quickly dissolved when they come into contact with the reality of everyday life.
To really accomplish something, you must have a specific goal: a SMART goal.
What Are SMART Goals?
The SMART goal is the foundation of all successful goals.
This formula was originally created by George T. Doran, in 1981. It has been used many times since.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. And Time-based. It is used by individuals and corporations to reach their goals and objectives.
The strength of SMART goals lies in their ability to clearly define the path to reaching goals and give a timeframe for achieving them. Let’s take a closer look at the SMART criteria.
A goal must have a clear outcome in order to be realizable. You are asking yourself, “What do I want to accomplish?”
A clear goal will increase your chances of achieving it.
If you say, “I want to lose weight”, then technically, you can achieve your goal by skipping dinner one day.
A more specific goal is needed: “I want twenty-pounds to lose by July”
It is important to set measurable goals in order to achieve any goal. Let’s take the following example: “I want twenty pounds to be lost by July.”
It’s easy to measure. All you have to do is weigh yourself at the beginning of January. Then subtract twenty pounds from that number and set 31 July as your target weight. To measure your progress, you should weigh yourself every week.
It means that your SMART goals can be achieved and are achievable.
It is possible to lose 20 pounds in just six months, as shown in the example. You could use a gym membership or some at-home weights. Or simply the motivation to run every day.
Lifehack’s Ultimate Worksheet can help you get motivated if you are having trouble with motivation.
You must set goals that are relevant to your life in order to achieve any goal.
It is possible to lose weight with your lifestyle. If you believe that it will make you happier and healthier, it may be feasible. This is even more important if your doctor has advised you to lose weight in order to avoid health problems.
A timeline is also important. A timeline is essential for all your goals. It creates urgency and sets a deadline.
For example, let’s say we want to lose twenty pounds. A timeline of six months would make it specific, measurable and relevant. It is possible to reach your goal if you have all the elements of the SMART goals formula.
How To Reach A SMART Goal
Motivation and a reason to achieve these goals are essential.
For example, if you want to lose twenty pounds, you will feel hungry for many months. Unless you have superhuman mental power, you will succumb to food temptations.
All goals of SMART can be summarized into three words:
- What are you looking to accomplish?
- What are you looking for?
- How will you achieve it?
This simplifies the process of achieving your goal.
1. Visualize What You Want
Visualizing the end result is a great way to make your goals more achievable. You should visualize the end result once you have written your mission statement.
As an example of weight loss, imagine closing your eyes and walking down the street from your Ibiza hotel in July, with your towel, sunscreen and sunglasses on. Imagine walking past other sunbathers, and feeling pride in how you look and feel.
As many five senses as possible, try to invoke them.
2. Identify Your “Why”
Take the example of losing twenty pounds. Once you’ve made the decision to do it, the next question you should ask is “Why?”. The more personal the why, the better.
It could be that you want to feel great by the pool in Ibiza this year. That would be a strong reason.
Your why might be “Because my doctor advised me to lose weight”, but that’s not the right why. It’s your doctor’s decision, not yours.
Writing your mission statement is one way to discover your “why” can help you identify it.
You can write a SMART goal to lose weight, such as “I will lose 20 pounds by July” because I want to feel great by the pool in Ibiza.
A mission statement should not be filled with vague words. Your mission statement should be clear, concise, and direct.
3. Determine Your “How”
Before you can start achieving your goals, you must create a list.
You should write down all the actions that you think will help you achieve your goal. These tasks can be written in any order, but it doesn’t really matter how you arrange them. What matters is that you list as many steps as you can.
One hundred small steps is my goal. It is much easier to assign tasks each day, which not only helps you move forward with your goal but also keeps you focused on it every day.
Once you have your to-do list, you can make a list of the goals and assign the steps to days to help you build momentum toward a successful outcome.
Bonus: Create A PACT
To really achieve your SMART goals, there is another part that you need to do. This is what I call PACT. Another acronym for Patience Action Consistency Time is PACT. To achieve your goals, you need to have all four.
You will lose patience if you don’t have patience. You must be patient to achieve anything worthwhile. It takes time to achieve success. Enjoy the journey of getting closer to your goal every day.
You can’t achieve SMART goals if you don’t take action on your goals. Every day, you need to remind yourself of your goal. Make sure to read your mission statement and create an action plan. Then take the steps necessary to get closer every day.
Consistency is key to achieving your goals. It is impossible to stick to a diet plan for one week and then take a break for three weeks. Jim Rohn summed it up perfectly when he stated:
“Success requires a few simple practices that are practiced every day.”
You must allow for enough time between now and the end. Don’t be unrealistic about time and don’t let it get you down if you miss your deadline. If necessary, adjust your timeline.
The Bottom Line
It is important to connect everything. Connecting all these elements creates an environment that makes it easier to achieve SMART goals.
You will be motivated to continue pursuing your goals regardless of whether they are personal or business.
Begin with your “why” and then move on to the actions that will get you there.