Have You Heard SMART Goals, Well These Goals Are SMARTer

Have you heard of SMART goals, well these goals are SMARTer!

Every New Year’s Eve millions of people set goals with the best of intentions. Most of the time they go really well for the first few weeks, and sometimes people make significant changes.

However, for most people, even though they set goals with the best of intentions, they end up setting the EXACT same goals the following New Year’s Eve.

One of the reasons why this occurs is that they do not set SMARTer goals. SMARTer goals have been shown to maximize the chances of goal setting success.

SMARTer is an acronym which stands for goals which are Specific, Measurable, Action-Orientated, Realistic, Time-based, Energizing and Ethical, and Reviewed Regularly.

For example, many people set goals such as “I want to lose weight or get fitter” or “I want a successful career” or “I want more quality time with my family” or “I want to achieve financial independence.”

Do these sound familiar?

By making these goals SMARTer, you maximize your chances of goal setting success.

S – Specific goals. Specific goals focus your energy and attention on what you need to do to achieve the goal. For example, “I want to lose weight or get fitter” is a vague goal and could be transformed into a more specific goal such as “I will lose 5 pounds” or “I will run 3 times a week”. Click here for more details on diet goal setting.

M – Measurable goals. If you can measure your goals then you know how you are going in your goal setting plan. A vague goal such as “I want achieve financial independence” is hard to measure – so you won’t know when you have achieved it. This goal could be transformed into a more measurable goal such as “I want to be debt free and have a passive income of $40,000 within 5 years”. Click here for more information on setting financial goals.

A – Action-orientated. Having clear action steps to achieve your goal is important for goal setting success. What do you need to achieve your goals? For example, “I want more quality time with my family” may involve action steps such as managing email distractions at work, developing time management skills, and so forth, so that you can stop taking work home. Alternatively, it might involve watching less TV and doing activities that actively involve the family. Click here for more detail on setting family goals.

R – Realistic. Setting realistic goals is important for your confidence and motivation. For example, if you have never run in your life, then setting a goal to run a marathon at the end of next month is setting yourself up for failure. For more details on fitness goal setting click here.

T – Time-based. Setting goals with time limits gives your goals a deadline. Deadlines raise the priority of something that needs to be done. Creating this sense of urgency, whether the goal is for today, next week, or next year, makes the goal a priority in your life. For example, “I want to get to start a new career” has no time lines, but if you put a time limit on this “I want to start a new career by next year”, then this can create a sense of urgency and priority that motivates you towards action.

The above goals are known as SMART goals. However in the work that I do with elite athletes, business people and students, I find that there are two very important aspects of the SMART goals that are missing. This is why I think SMARTer goals are better than SMART goals.

E – Energizing and Exciting. Your goals should be something that you are passionate about it. Passion gives you the motivation to keep going when things are tough – and lets face it, there will be times when it is hard to get motivated.

R – Rewarding and Reviewable – When you achieve your goal give yourself a pat on the back, take you and your family out for dinner - do whatever it is that rewards you for achieving success. By rewarding yourself you reinforce yourself for future success. At the same time, your goals should be reviewable. Your life circumstances change and with it so may your goals. For example, often athletes who become injured, or business people whose priorities change, need to adjust their goals to their current circumstances.

SMARTer goals will maximize your goal setting success. By building on SMART goals, which are passionate and rewarding you take small focused steps so that today’s dream can become tomorrow’s reality.

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