Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Path to Success: Setting and Achieving SMART Goals (2/3)

The Path to Success: Setting and Achieving Goals.

Part (2/3)

This is part two of the series, "The Path to Success: Setting and Achieving Goals" by Robert Leavitt.

Goal Setting
Setting Goals

You may be asking yourself, "OK that sounds great, but how do I even get started with something like this?". Luckily for you, you're very smart and you are reading this blog, so that's the first step.

The second comes from my experience in college and we are going to learn about SMART Goals.

SMART Goals is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and anchored to a Time period. When creating a goal, we can use the SMART system to make sure that it is a realistic goal that we can create a realistic plan to acheive. Let's look at each section:

Specific - You want your goal to be specific. Saying something like "I want to own a business" is simply not good enough. You want to narrow down that vague statement, and create something more detailed like: "I want to own a footwear retail store". Now you have a specific goal that you are working towards. If you try and define the goal as something vague, you will not be able to really tell if you have achieved the goal, or if your plan needs to be refined.

Measurable - It is necessary to measure your goals. This gives you the ability to make sure that you are making progress towards completing it. For example, if you decide that you are going to quit smoking in 6 weeks, you may decide that you will smoke 1 pack for the first week, 15 cigarettes for the second week, 10 cigarettes for the third week, etc… Now as the time passes, you have a way to gauge if you are on track to obtain your goal or if you need to step up your effort to meet the time frame you outlined for your goal.

Attainable - This is a very important part of the goal-forming process. You have to make sure that the goal that you are setting for yourself is attainable. It does you no good to say something like "I want to have 500 million dollars and never work again" because the odds of you attaining this goal are very small. You need to set your goals up in a way that you can achieve them, that way you can feel the sense of accomplishment. I tend to set my bar a little bit lower than most, that way if I can achieve the goal, and perhaps even do better than I originally planned, I will get a great feeling of accomplishment, and feel like I am really achieving something.

Relevant - Make sure you goal has some sort of purpose. Is it relevant to your family, career or personal life? It is OK to have goals that are purely for pleasure, but remember that you MUST have goals that are designed to accelerate your career, financial earnings, and family life as well. This personal development is extremely important, because the more you develop yourself, the easier it will be to obtain future goals.

Time- Again, a very important aspect of defining a SMART goal. You must attach a time frame to your goal. This makes you accountable and also keeps you on track towards achieving it. You can't be vague here and say "I will quit smoking next summer", it is critical that you give yourself a specific date. You also should make sure that the time frame is attainable. Some projects require longer periods than others.