How To Set SMART Goals That Align With Your Vision

Why goals are important

Setting goals is one of the most important things we can do in life.

Goals provide us with direction, a sense of purpose, and a target to aim for in life. They force us to step outside our comfort zone and push ourselves towards new limits to achieve what we truly desire.

But what’s even more important than setting goals, is actually achieving them.

 

Why we fail achieving them

The problem with goals is that for as important as they may be, there is very little guidance on how to properly create them. In fact, many of us spend our entire lives struggling to achieve the goals we set.

So why do we struggle, especially when our motivation is always there?

It’s because most of the time, the goals we set are not SMART. (Hold on I’m not calling you dumb, SMART is a real acronym – trust me!)

The biggest reason we fail to reach our goals is because we don’t make them practical and achievable.

 

What is a SMART goal and how is it better?

That’s where SMART goals come in. SMART goals allow you to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, and use your time and resources efficiently. In return, SMART goals will increase your chances of achieving your dreams.

SMART goals are often found in the business setting, but they can be just as effective for your personal life. Although they’ve had many variations over the years, you can find the history behind the SMART philosophy here.

But before we dive into each component of a SMART goal, I want to get your creative juices flowing.

Take 5-10 minutes and write down the goals that come to mind at this exact moment. Remember you have NO LIMITS, so write down anything that pops into your head.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to creating SMART goals.

 

 

As, I said earlier, the biggest reason why we fail to accomplish our goals is because they’re not practical enough. Why are goals not practical? Because they lack clarity, they lack deadlines, and they lack traceability. On top of all that, we often set goals without asking ourselves why we’re setting them and why they’re so important to us.

The SMART philosophy fixes these problems by making your goals more practical and as a result more achievable.

A SMART goal should cover the following five steps:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Timeline

 

Specific

Do you remember my article on creating a vision? (If you haven’t read it, I recommend you do). The first step of creating a vision is for it to be as clear and specific as possible. Your goals are no different. When it comes to creating goals, the clearer they are, the better. To provide clarity around your goal, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is it that I want to achieve?
  • Why is it important to me?
  • What resources will I need to accomplish it?

Measurable

Setting goals that are measurable allows you to track your progress. By tracking your progress you can easily keep yourself motivated. Measurable goals will also allow you to stay focused, meet deadlines, and feel excited about reaching the finish line.

Achievable

Goals should always force you outside of your comfort zone and stretch your abilities, but they should not be too unrealistic. Having goals that are “too far out there” or out of your control will set you up for failure and lower your morale. In order for your goal to be achievable it needs to be both realistic and attainable.

Relevant

Your goal should matter to you and be in alignment with your other goals and vision. You want to make sure this is the right time to go after your goal and that it makes sense with your other plans.

For example, if your vision is to buy your dream house in next 3-5 years, it wouldn’t make sense to also set a goal to buy a Ferrari in the same timespan.

Timeline

Placing a target date on your goal gives you a deadline to focus on and a finish line to work towards. Having a timeline will also prevent you from allowing other daily tasks to take priority over achieving your goal.

 

So what does a SMART goal look like?

Remember my story about Jim Carrey and how his vision was to become a hollywood movie star. Whether he knew it or not, his vision had the characteristics of a SMART goal. In fact, it possessed all the traits a SMART goal requires.

The check was specific “Acting Services Rendered” and it was measurable “$10 million.” Jim realized that in order for his goal to be achievable, he would need to reach outside of his comfort zone. Because acting was his dream, it was relevant. And he provided a timeline by post dating it 5 years into the future.

Now it’s your turn. You have the tools to create a successful vision, now you need to create some SMART goals to go along with your vision. If you have any trouble creating your SMART goals or want me to review them, contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

 

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