• How to set goals? Well ...
• Read about SMART goals - a tried
and tested system that works
• - and about other powerful (better?) goal
setting strategies, too
• Basically this goal setting article is goal
setting theory made easy
• Plus, you can access other articles on
setting and achieving goals
SMART Goal Setting at a Glance
Ah, SMART goals. Yes. An excellent
goal setting system. This goal setting article is about that. But first ...
Since you're interested in goal setting, perhaps you're wondering
What Is a
? - clicking that link will take you to a page where you get the answer to
that question, plus a great goal setting tip or two.
Next, how about I
let you in on a couple of small secrets about goal setting? Okay, I will.
Goal setting Secrets - No. 1:
There Is a System Even More
Advanced than SMART Goal Setting
I know this, because I invented it.
It's nothing real fancy, just thorough. It works. I call it The Personal
Development Guy's Advanced Goals Check and it's in the personal development
article How to Set Goals Easily.
I don't recommend this
system for every kind of goal, only for the bigger, more important goals. Like
the kind of big, strategic goals you set in the boardroom of an enterprise or a
corporation. You can jump to this page if you want to know more: Goal Setting
Strategies.Goal setting Secrets - No. 2:
There Is a System
Which Is Much Simpler than SMART Goal Setting
I know this for the
very same reason: I invented it. I describe it on the page
How to Set Goals
. This is even less fancy than the other system I just mentioned, but it
works just as well. Heck, I personally think it works even better, because it is
so simple anyone can do it. In fact it's so simple even a child can do it.
Which, combined with the fact that this simple system forces you to take (really
simple) action, actually makes it all the more powerful.
If you want to
know more about that check out the goal setting article I mentioned above. The
full title of it is:
How to Set Goals Easily - Goal Setting for Kids & Smart
Adults.Goal Setting Secrets - No. 3:
Knowing What Lies
Behind All Goal Setting Will Empower You
If you want in-depth knowledge
about goals and the theory behind all of this, please consider reading the
personal development article Goal Setting Theory: How to Set Goals that Work
[LINK upcoming] or this one
Goal Setting Games - Get Awareness to Achieve Goals
And now, let's take a look at the specifics of the SMART goals goal
Setting at a Glance
If you are interested in goal setting, goal setting
theory and goal setting strategies, you have probably heard that goals should be
SMART or SMARTER ... which stands for:
And as for adding an E and
an R to the SMART acronym, those two stand for:
In truth, other ways of interpreting the acronym do exist.
The above one will do just fine, though. Now, let's briefly look more closely at
The 'S' of SMART
S stands for SPECIFIC. The point is, you need to know
WHAT your goal is in order to achieve it. So whenever you set a goal, ask
yourself the basic questions WHAT, WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW. This
translates into something like:
- WHAT do you want to achieve?
- WHO is
or needs to be involved?
- WHERE is it happening?
- WHEN you you want to
achieve your goal?
- WHY are you interested in this goal?
- HOW can you
make it happen?
The 'M' of
SMART Goals Explained
M stands for MEASURABLE. You're looking for a goal
that you can record using some type of objective measurement, most likely some
sort of numbers.
If you don't do this, how will you know WHEN you have
Example: 'I want to slim down' is hard to measure. 'I want to
loose 4 pounds in as many weeks' is specific and therefore measurable - and
therefore probably doable.
Also, consider keeping a written record of
both your goals and your progress - that can be both fun and a great motivator.
The 'A' of SMART Goals
A stands for ACHIEVABLE. This is not as obvious as it seems. It
is easy to deceive yourself.
If you have a self inflating ego you will tend
to think you can do more than you actually can. If you have a self deflating ego
your thinking will tend to be that you cannot achieve as much as you actually
can. (For more info on self inflating and self deflating egos you can also read
the self improvement article about Self Esteem Activities).
often need resources of different kinds; money, knowledge, people's help, time,
etc. So check for that, preferably before you start.
The primary thing to
remember regarding achievable goals, though, is that they must be within your
control. Somehow YOU - and not other people - must be able to make your goal
come true. That way no one and nothing can get between you and your achievement.
You can check that simply by asking yourself if there is any probable
external reason why you might not be able to achieve your goal. If there is,
change your goal so that there isn't.
The 'R' of SMART Goals Explained
R stands for REALISTIC.
This means realistic for you.
What I mean is 'realistic for you' as opposed
to 'realistic for an average person' - regardless of how you consider yourself
when compared to what you think is an average person. (Quick tip: Don't compare
yourself to anyone other than yourself). The point is this is all about you, not
So, ask yourself: Can I do this? Can I achieve this goal?
Will I? Do I even want to?
In general you will probably want to aim for
this balance: The goal you set needs to be tough enough to push you out of your
comfort zone but easy enough to keep you from getting discouraged.
The 'T' of SMART Goals Explained
T stands for TIME-BASED.
Again, it's about measuring. When will you have achieved this goal?
You can also rephrase that question like this: When is your
Oftentimes you can set this deadline yourself. Other
times your hand is forced.
When your hand is forced by some
external pressure for a deadline, fine. There is nothing much to
discuss. You just do whatever it takes and reach your goal on time.
But when you can set you own deadlines you face several
challenges, the first of which is motivation for even setting a
Lacking external pressure are you even interested
in achieving your goal at some deadline? Wouldn't you much rather
give yourself lots and lots of time so you don't have to get
stressed? If you tend to give yourself lots of time, please do
reconsider your position.
Procrastination is a huge problem
for many people. So is getting sidetracked by other, fascinating
ideas, possibilities and goals. Setting a deadline and sticking to
it, on the other hand, WILL help you achieve your goal. Also there
is a saying that any task will automatically expand to fill the time
available to do it.
But since you are setting your own
deadline you might as well be gentle with yourself and set one that
you can live with.
Again, you will probably benefit from
writing your goal down along with its deadline.
too, do aim for the balance between tight enough to push you out of
your comfort zone but lax enough to keep you from getting
'E' and 'R' of SMARTER Goals Explained
Some goal setters add
both an E and an R to the SMART acronym. These stand for Evaluate
The point is this: In order to learn you need to
evaluate. Basically what you are evaluating is 'did whatever-it-is
work, or didn't it + why?' When you have achieved one goal, question
how you could have done better and choose how to proceed to the next
goal. Learn by the simplest, yet greatest method there is: Trial and
error. Then improve.
With regard to your big goals, your long
term goals, you will probably not want to just set your goal and
then leave it alone. Instead, stay active on it! So, look over your
long term goals periodically and see where you stand. Evaluate them,
and change them when the need arises.
Final Words on SMART Goals
has been accredited with saying: "Life is what happens while you are
busy making other plans.
" And that is so true.
SMART goals - it's
a proven system that works. The main problem with it is that it is
too 'difficult to dance with' - meaning that people don't use it
because, well, they're too busy living their lives and doing things
'quick and dirty' rather than SMART.
Another problem with
this medium simple system is it doesn't talk about the benefits of
modular goal setting (or whatever you want to call it). What I mean
is this: Having many small goals that work towards a few bigger
goals which in turn work towards one really big goal. This is also a
proven system which works.
Even so, achieving just about
anything becomes much easier using some sort of goal setting theory.
It could be a simple one like
How to Set Goals Easily - Goal
Setting for Kids & Smart Adults
; or it could be a medium advanced
one like SMART goals; or it could be an advanced one like
In any case, different situations call
for different approaches, so try them out and learn. Using and
succeeding with the any kind of goal setting technique can and will
encourage you to use it again.
Here is an overview of all the
pages about Goal Setting:
• What Is a Goal?
• How to Set Goals Easily - Goal Setting for Kids and Smart Adults
• Goal Setting Games - Get Awareness to Achieve Goals Faster
• Goal Setting Strategies
• How to Achieve Goals
• Short Term Goals
• Set Your Goals
• Goal Setting Theory and Tips
I wish you the best of luck in
setting and achieving goals!
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