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How to Set SMART Goals

When trying to achieve something, it is essential to have a course of action that will take you to the promised land. The SMART goals method is one of the tools that is often used at the workplace to set and achieve goals within a definitive time frame.

When trying to achieve something, it is essential to have a course of action that will take you to the promised land. The SMART goals method is one of the tools that is often used at the workplace to set and achieve goals within a definitive time frame.

And in this blog post, we will look at how to set and achieve SMART goals. So let's jump in.

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym used to set and achieve goals. There are five components of the SMART goal method, they are:

S = Keeping the goal specific

A specific goal will help you narrow your focus and effectively plan a course of action.

For example, a goal like becoming profitable might be easy to set, but its vagueness makes it impossible to plan. Instead, a more specific goal, like generating USD 10000 MRR, can be visualized and planned.

In addition to this, adding more details like location, limitations, dependencies, and benefits can make the goal more specific.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when setting specific goals.

  • What do you want to get done?
  • What is the importance of getting it done?
  • Who are my stakeholders or involved parties in this?
  • Where will I be achieving this goal?
  • Do I have any resource or ability limitations in achieving this goal?

M = Your goal must be easily measurable

The ability to measure goals is essential because otherwise, it becomes hard to track progress or address opportunities for improvement.

For example, if you want to up-skill for work, instead of having a goal like completing the "Advanced Data Science" course, your goal could be "Completing Chapter 1 by X date" and so on.

Keep the goal and its constituents quantifiable to the average person looking at it and avoid complexity as much as possible.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make your goals measurable.

  • How much should I be doing?
  • How many can I complete?
  • Are these the standard above my base competence levels?
  • What will this task look like when completed?

A = Make your goal achievable

The ideal goal should stretch your abilities and help you get out of your comfort zone to grow. However, it is equally important to be realistic and achievable to not demotivate you from pursuing them in the future.

For example, setting a goal of "Grow your business by 2X" might check the other boxes of being measurable and specific, but if it is not realistic, it will demotivate you from going after it.

Instead, pick a goal slightly out of your comfort zone and doable.

Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself when trying to set achievable goals:

  • How do I achieve this goal?
  • What resources would I need, and can I access them to achieve this goal?
  • Is this goal realistic from a financial standpoint?
  • Can I afford the time and energy needed to achieve this?

R = Make it relevant

Relevancy is the most misunderstood part of the SMART goals methodology. The goal here is to ensure that the goal you are picking is relevant to you and your aspirations and is aligned with other aspects of your life.

So choosing a goal that will not move your forward or make your life/work better is usually not worth pursuing if you have better prospects.

So here are a few questions to ask yourself to ensure the goal is worth working on:

  • Is this the right time to be pursuing this goal?
  • Can I do something else more aligned instead of this?
  • Can this match/coexist with other parts of my life?
  • Am I the best person to be pursuing this goal in my team?
  • Does this fit the current micro & macro environment?

T = Keeping it time bound

When there is no time frame for achieving a goal or a project, you'll never fail but never really succeed. Even if the time frame is longer than needed, it is still marginally better than not having a time frame at all.

For example, if you had a goal of making X amount of dollars without a time frame, then there is no urgency or constraint for you to take action. Thereby, you are more likely to be laid back on the goal.

Here are some questions to put that time constraint on your goal.

  • When do I start, and why?
  • What sort of progress needs to be made four weeks from the start?
  • What does this project look like when done?
  • What is the best time to pursue this project?
  • What is the deadline for completion to reap maximum rewards?
  • What can I do today that will help me with this goal?

Advantages of SMART goals

The methodology is widely followed owing to its many advantages here are some of them.

  • Adds focus by showing you the rewards and the constraints of pursuing this goal.
  • It brings more clarity regarding what the finished goal would look like and the benefits it will bring you.
  • It keeps you motivated by making the goals realistic with a clear benefit at the end of it.
  • There are no advanced tools needed to both strategize and implement the methodology.

Conclusion

And with that, we come to the end of this blog post about SMART goals. What are your thoughts on it? Let us know on Twitter @RoutineHQ.

Thanks for reading.

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