What does s.m.a.r.t stand for in smart goals? Here we will discuss the definition for each letter of the acronym S.M.A.R.T, so that you get the most out of your goal setting efforts. I will show you examples of how this acronym can impact your efforts and assist you in writing goals of your own.
Specific: First your goals must be specific. Do not use generalizations when setting goals such as “I want to be rich”. This is a hollow statement or a dream at best. In order for this to be a goal you must be specific in your request. In other words state the exact amount of money you wish to acquire for example: My goal is to posses one million dollars. Every ones idea of being rich is different so be specific.
Measurable: You must be able to measure your progress toward your goal. If you can not measure your progress or the end result, how will you know when you have accomplished that goal? Going back to the above example, being rich is defined differently by different people at different times and can not be measured. Having a million dollars, however, can be measured. You can track your progress by measuring how much money you have and how much you still need to reach this goal and you will know definitively when you reach the final goal because a million can be measured.
Attainable: Smart goals must be attainable. There are two parts to this. Your goal must be challenging enough so that you have to reach for it, however you must also set a goal that can be achieved or that you believe you can achieve. If you do not believe you can attain the goal then there is nothing to motivate you towards achieving that goal. If you have never made more than 20,000 dollars a year, a million dollars may be a far reach and you should start with a smaller goal. How much smaller is a question you have to ask yourself. Only you know what your level of belief is.
Relevant: Is your goal relevant to you? Does your goal make since to what you want out of life? Does your goal relate to your overall life goal or goals. Is the goal relevant to who you are or how you want to be perceived? Again, if your goal is not relevant to you and your life you have no motivation to accomplish it. For example, if your goal of having a million dollars is in fact the goal your spouse set for you, but you could care less, then you will surely fall short of accomplishing that goal.
Time-Based: There must be a timeline for reaching your goal. There must be a deadline. If you do not set a date as to when this goal should be reached then it is just floating out in space to be accomplished someday. Someday never comes. Someday indicates the future and we are never living in the future, we are living in the present. Set a specific date, because that day will come. Don’t just set a goal to have a million dollars, set the goal to have a million dollars by January 1st 2016 or whatever it might be.
Just in case you are like me and a visual helps you learn faster, I found this video on YouTube on S.M.A.R.T GOALS I thought you might enjoy. It recaps what I said above, but in a little different way. Enjoy!
Using the acronym s.m.a.r.t goals I have put together a few examples:
Lets take the million dollar example and take it a step further and write it out in complete form as you would write it if it where your own smart goal. First ask yourself is this goal relevant to what I want and do I believe that I can Attain it. If you answer yes to these questions you may write this goal to look like this.
I will acquire one million dollars by January 1st 2022 from the efforts I put forth in building a successful web-based photography business.
The more specific the goal the better chances you will accomplish it. The example above is good, but it can be even better. How specific you are is up to you.
How can you improve the statement above?
This is how I would do it:
I will acquire 1 million dollars by January 1st 2022 from my continued efforts in building a successful photography web-based business that teaches young photographers the joy of photography along with strategies that can help them improve their skills as a photographer. I will earn this money by offering e-books and other merchandise on the web-site and I will allow photography companies to advertise on my site for a small fee.
Now that is specific.
When writing smart goals for yourself remember to use the S.M.A.R.T goals acronym. Ask yourself, is my goal specific? Can I measure my progress for this goal? Is this goal attainable? Is this goal relevant to what I really want? And is it time-based, have I set a time for the completion of this goal?