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49 years of success - Established 1974

49 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

How to set SMART Goals?

Whether you realise it or not, when you decide to do something you automatically set yourself a goal. Goals can be set for the smallest to the largest of tasks. For example, something as simple as deciding to put your shoes on and go to the shop for a loaf of bread before your favourite soap comes on the television is setting yourself a goal. However, if you are not used to consciously setting goals, a good way to start is to use the SMART system. Setting SMART goals will help you to better understand what you want to get out of the activity and how to plan the job or project so that you make the most effective use of your time.

What is a Smart Goal?

SMART stands for:

  • Specific – in order for a goal to be effective it needs to be specific. You should detail exactly what you want to achieve. It’s no use simply stating ‘I want to be better’. It does not specify what you want to be better at, how you will measure whether you are better or not, how long you are expecting it to take to be better... Do you see the problem? On the other hand, stating that your goal is to be a millionaire by the time you are 50 is very specific. It describes what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it by and gives you a very clear outcome to aim for.

  • Measurable – being able to measure progress is vital to reaching your goals. How else will you know where you are now, how far you have to go and when you’ve actually reached it? Taking the example above, you can see that there are several areas that can be measured:

    • your age now
    • how long you have until you reach 50
    • where your finances are now
    • how far you have to go to reach millionaire status As you work your way through your plan, you will be able to assess whether the actions you’ve taken have been positive steps towards your goal and how far you still have to go.

  • Achievable – ‘I want to be a millionaire by the time I am 50’ is a specific goal and it’s measureable, but is it achievable? If you are only 20 years of age, it’s very achievable with some hard work and planning. However, if you are only one week away from your 50th birthday, you’re probably going to need a miracle, or a lottery win, to reach your goal.

  • Realistic – this is closely related to the likelihood of your goal being achievable and is the time for a reality check. What you need to determine is if what you want to achieve really is possible. Take this extreme example – you are 80 years old and you want to fly into space. In reality, if you had the millions needed to pay for the ticket, you could book a seat on a pleasure flight into space. However, even if you had the money, would it be realistic to think that an 80 year old would pass the rigorous physical training needed to travel into space? The answer is probably not, making this goal unrealistic.

  • Timely – deadlines are very important! You must set deadlines for every goal you want to achieve. Deadlines give you specific dates to work towards. So, if you decide you want to be a millionaire by 50 and you are 20 now you know how long you have to achieve your goal and can plan an effective way of achieving your goal. If you don’t set yourself deadlines you are in danger of falling victim to procrastination and doing nothing at all.

Goals have the ultimate purpose of acting as motivation. When they are thought out and planned properly they give you realistic points to aim for. And, when you reach your goals the sense of satisfaction is wonderful. So, think, plan and set yourself SMART goals to be successful.

If you would like to know more about planning techniques and how to make the most of your time, request a prospectus for our Effective Time Management course today.