SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting and is something we will go through together to ensure your goals are achievable and realistic.
Each part of your goal needs to be:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
I like to change the acronym to SMARTER to include the importance of efficacy and feedback so that the goal is also Evaluated and Reviewed.
Let’s break down each component of the SMART acronym below:
Your goal should be clear and specific in order for you to feel motivated to achieve it. For example just saying ‘I want to get fit’ isn’t good enough, it’s too broad a goal. For it to be more specific a goal you need to consider:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
Having goals that are measurable means your fantastic progress can be tracked and you’ll stay motivated and excited that you are on your way to achieving your goal.
A measurable goal should address questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
Using a fitness goal again as an example you can consider how many hours a week of exercise will you do and have you ticked this off at the end of each week? Or if you had a goal to be able to jog for 10 minutes non stop – you will be able to determine this has been accomplished when you can do just this!
Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. You need to be gently pushing yourself, but the goal should be well within your abilities.
- How can I accomplish this goal? What needs to be done?
- How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors and is there a way around this?
If fitness is your goal you may be keen to use a personal trainer – is this realistic finacially? If not, what other routes can you take? What other resources are available that are free or are more within your budget?
It’s important you feel in control of your goal. You should be saying ‘yes!’ to all of the following questions:
- Is this worthwhile?
- Is now the right time?
- Does this match our other efforts/needs?
- Can I reach this goal?
Every goal needs a target date, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. Ensuring you have this in place will mean that your general day to day life won’t get in the way of your longer-term goal/s.
- What can I do today to get going with it?
- Where do I want to be six weeks from now?
- And in six month’s time?
What is a realistic time frame for getting started and accomplishing the smaller goals that are necessary to achieving your objective.