SMART Goal: 7 Defining Ways That Will Help You Focus

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Have you ever felt lost when working on a project? You aren’t sure where to go or how to progress?

Maybe you haven’t even gotten started on your project. Instead, you don’t even know where to begin.

Well, creating a SMART goal could really help you out. It will act as your guide and help you feel more organized and ready to take on your project.

The Value of Goal Setting

You always knew that setting goals is a good thing, but have you ever thought about why? For one thing, it helps curb laziness and procrastination. These 2 behaviors usually go hand and hand.

When you set clear and definitive goals, it increases your desire and motivation to achieve them. It also gives you more confidence that you will get more done.

It also helps you identify your strengths and weakness. It helps you with personal growth and development that will enhance your self-image.

It can also energize your body and will magnify many other seemingly unrelated aspects of your life.

It will give you a sense of purpose and a sense of control over your life.

What is a SMART Goal?

SMART is actually an Acronym that you can use to help with your goal setting. It stands for:

  • Specific (Simple, Sensible, Significant)
  • Measureable (Meaningful, Motivating)
  • Achievable (Agreed, Attainable)
  • Relevant (Reasonable, Realistic and Resourced, Results-Based)
  • Time Bound (Time-Based, Time Limited, Time/Cost Limited, Timely, Time Sensitive)

Some people have even added letters to create SMARTER - E stands for evaluated and R stands for reviewed.

It’s usually crediting to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept. The first known use of the term happened in November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran.

Since then, Professor Robert S. Rubin (Saint Louis University) wrote about SMART in an article for The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.  

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How to Make SMART Goals

You use what each of the acronym means to create more specific goals. You will use each acronym to create steps to achieve your goals. It also helps break down your goals into smaller easier to achieve goals.

What Can SMART Goals Help You with?

There are different types of goals that you want to accomplished that can benefit from the SMART goal treatment. Some of these include:

  • Financial Goals: You can start saving for retirement, get out of debt, or create a monthly budget that you will actually follow
  • Spiritual Goals: Pick a new devotional, start a daily gratitude journal, or get plugged in to a group at your place of worship
  • Fitness Goals: Hit the gym more, take the stairs, remembering to eat well
  • Educational Goals: Go back to school to get your degree, get your Master’s degree, or read a book that challenges you every month
  • Family Goals: Plan day trips with your kids, have a standing date with your spouse, or make it a point to talk to your parents weekly
  • Career Goals: Work toward a promotion or raise, do something that will benefit your career, send out resumes if you are looking for a new career path
  • Social Goals: Say yes when someone invites you out to lunch or social gathering, or the opposite, say no more often
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7 Ways How Having a SMART Goal Can Help You Focus

Having a SMART goal will help you bring structure and being able to keep track of your goals. It gives milestones to aim for.

By using these acronyms, you are able to make more specified goals.

1. It Makes Your Goals Specific

The S in SMART is Specific. Being specific will help you focus your efforts on what truly needs to be done. To create a specific goal, you should answer the 5 W questions.

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is this goal important?
  • Who is involved?
  • Where is it located?
  • Which resources or limits are involved?

2. Reminds You to Have Measureable Goals

It can be easy to think grandly when you are making goals, the only problem with that is that you can easily frustrated when you don’t get to them in a timely fashion. Having measurable goals can help you feel motivated and keep track of your project.

It’s like having a to do list. Every time you cross something off your list you get a sense of satisfaction. This will make you want to achieve more goals faster.

3. Makes Your Goals Achievable

Your goals need to realistic and attainable to actually be successful. A good balance is when it challenges you, but you can still be able to do it with a bit of work.

When you set an achievable goal, you might be able to see overlooked opportunities or resources that can help you get closer it.

4. Staying Relevant

SMART makes sure that your goal matters to you and is aligns with your other goals. We all need help sometimes, but we also need to have control over them as well.

A relevant goal can answer yes to questions like: Does it seem worthwhile? Is it the right time? Am I the right person to reach this goal?

5. It Keeps You Timely

Every goal needs a deadline. SMART will help you make sure that everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer term goals. To make sure your goal is timely, ask yourself these questions. When? What can I do 6 months from now? What can I do today?

6. Forces You to Be Organized

Because you are breaking down every aspect of your goal to make sure it fits within the SMART goal, the act forces you be more organized. You will to write down each step of your goal and how they fit within SMART.

7. Let’s You See the Big Picture

You would think that seeing the whole picture would actually make you less focused, but that’s not case. Seeing your goal and how you will achieve it will make you focus more. You are able to see every step and know that you will achieve your goal by taking each step.

Biggest Mistakes Not to Make When Setting a SMART Goal​​​​​

There are some mistakes that you can make when setting your SMART goal. These can slow down your process to achieving what you want to do:

1. You Set Your Sights Too High

As mentioned before with the Achievable part of SMART, you want to make sure you set realistic goals. It’s okay to have big dreams, but you can’t achieve that dream in one leap. If you try to do too many goals at once, you will get frustrated and want to give up.

2. Being Vague About the Outcome

You have to be specific about what you want to accomplish. Being too vague will make you feel overwhelmed and like you are running in place. Instead, you should give yourself a specific skill you want to master or a deadline to do something by.

3. You Don’t See Failure as a Positive Step

Failing is hard. It’s frustrating and disheartening, but it is surprisingly a positive step to getting your goal. Failing gives you important information that can show you how to improve your strategies. This means you can tweak what you’ve been doing and be successful the next time.

4. You Don’t Plan for Problems

No matter how well you plan, problem will arise. It’s just a part of life. If you know there are certain things that will cause you problems, make a plan to handle them.

For example, if you want to eat healthy food for a week, get rid of all the junk food in your house. Then fill it with only good food.

5. You Don’t Commit

When you make a SMART goal, use your calendar. It will be the most helpful tool for you to get things done. Deciding in advance when and where to make your goals into reality can double or triple your chances of success.

It’s not only about self-control, it’s about strategies and plans you put in place to meet your goal.

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Now You Are Smarter About Setting Goals 

Now you know everything about setting a SMART goal for yourself. This type of goal making can help you all different aspects of your life. Whether you want to start a new business or want to eat better.

Take your time developing your goal. Take the time to write everything out. Go letter by letter and develop every part of what it will take to get to your goal. It may seem useless at first, but it will make the journey to the finish line a lot easier.

Once everything is set up, you will feel confident and encourage to get working. You will feel the rush of satisfaction every time you check off sometime on your mapped out goal plan. Before you know it, you will have achieved your goal and will already be preparing the next one.

Keyword:  SMART Goal

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