Setting goals is an important process for personal and professional growth. Whether you are thinking about long-term or short-term goals for any area of your life, you need to set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. If your goal is just to “lose weight” you probably won’t succeed. If your goal is to “get a promotion”, you won’t get very far.
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar
“Official Ziglar Quotes.” Zig Ziglar. Accessed January 1, 2016. http://www.ziglar.com/quotes/zig-ziglar/if-you-aim-nothing.
To create SMART goals:
- Be specific – Break larger objectives down into small, manageable pieces.
- Be measureable – Create a “definition of done” so that you know whether you met your goal.
- Be yours – Your goals should be important to you and not a reflection of someone’s desires for you.
- Be written down – Keep your goals in a place that you view often, to remind you to stick with it. Add them to your calendar or set reminders to keep you on track.
- Have a time limit – If your goals are open-ended, it becomes easy to procrastinate. Set a hard and close deadline for your goals.
This process takes the vague objective goal and helps you to hone it to slices that can be achieved. For example, consider the popular New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. For example, if your larger resolution is to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year, the goal can be intimidating. Instead, consider setting a weight loss goal for 4, 8, or even 12 weeks. Consider the steps that you must take to reach that goal.