5 Effective Ways to Set SMART Goals

We live in an era of self-care and improvement, constantly adopting new routines, habits or skills so we can improve our well being professionally or personally. We’re inspired by the success of others and set goals to pursue ourselves. Far too often, however, we end up failing by either giving up halfway or not starting one at all.

Why is that? First and foremost, it’s due to a lack of proper goal setting. Simply having an idea and working towards it is not enough. There are ways to accelerate the process or get the ball rolling. Even if you are at a halt or simply lack inspiration, you can achieve your objectives by setting SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Here’s a more in-depth look at each component of SMART:

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Set specific goals.

Your goal needs to be clearly defined. A vague goal – such as “work out more” – doesn’t give you a guideline for success. Narrow down your definition of success before you start working toward your goal. Otherwise, it might lead to disappointment or failure.

Measure your progress.

You should have some form to track your accomplishments. Measurables will help you examine your overall progress. You can break down your bigger goal into smaller steps that are needed to achieve that goal into daily or weekly goals. This will help you track the overall progress made and examine steps that are further needed.

Set achievable goals.

You should still think big and pursue your dreams, but seriously analyze the possibility of achieving them. If the goal you set for yourself requires additional skills, you need to anticipate learning them. You should look at the resources you currently have and determine whether additional ones are needed for the goal.

Set goals relevant to YOU.

Ignoring your dreams just to pursue what others have set out for you may not lead to any personal or professional fulfillment. It might seem difficult to separate external expectations and analyze why you’re pursuing this goal, but when you realize it is your life that you’re living, you can focus on what truly matters.

Have a timeframe and a deadline.

your goal like a big project you’re working toward. A project usually has a deadline attached to it. There is a sense of urgency you will feel when there are time restraints you have set for yourself. Map out a timeline for your goal and set a date for when you want to achieve it. When you have a deadline, you will be more motivated to accomplish the necessary tasks for the goal.

If it seems overwhelming to follow a process for setting your goal, or if you have confusion about doing so, use a SMART goal setting app such as Goals.com to help guide you through the process. Goals.com helps you jumpstart your SMART goals and allows you to evaluate your overall progress. It has several “goal maps” to inspire and guide you when you’re not quite sure what you want to improve in your life.

By following a structured process of setting your goals, you’re much more likely to achieve them. It takes dedication, but clearly defining your goal and setting up the proper resources will ultimately lead you to success.

About the Author

Alec Cantin is a passionate online journalist at a Minneapolis based digital marketing agency and an existing contributor for a number of news outlets covering technology, productivity, apps and more. His work can be found on blogs and top-ranked websites.

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