Do you want to crush your goals this year? Run them through the SMART goal filter and experience the difference.
If you Google SMART goals you will see many different variations of the acronym, all of which yield results. The version I am going to share with you is the one I have found to generate the best outcomes, both by using it myself and with my clients.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of making your goals SMART and what that involves, take a few minutes to get clear on what areas of your life you want to grow, develop or make changes in. Some examples might include personal relationships, career, health, physical environment, fun and recreation, money and personal growth. Remember- these are suggestions to get you thinking, and not a prescription, only make goals that feel good to you, you have one beautiful life so why waste it trying to fit into someone else’s idea of what is right for you?
S - Be Specific
One of the reasons goals don’t get met is because they are waaayy too vague. Getting really specific about what you want to achieve is the first step. Think about how you can measure the goal and how you will know when you´ve achieved it. These may seem like obvious questions, but I would invite you to answer them, you might be surprised at the subtle differences yield and the effect that the information has on your motivation.
Here are some examples of vague goals turned into something specific and therefore more achievable.....
Read more- read 10 books this year.
Lose Weight- lose 10 kgs by June.
Get healthier- eat 4 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and exercise for 40 minutes 3 times a week.
Save money- cut out take away coffees and one night out a month, start a direct debit of €400 a month into a savings account, review all my subscriptions (gym, Netflix, online yoga classes) and cancel any I don’t use.
M- Make it Meaningful
All too often we set goals that are not really our goals, you’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again – if your goal doesn’t energise and excite you it might not be your goal, it is possible that the goal you are choosing is coming from a should rather than a want to.
It may be that the process of the goal doesn’t excite you but the results do, for example one of my goals this year is to learn how to drive, now that is a goal that definitely neither excites nor energises me, but the outcome does, the thought of being able to hire a car and drive to otherwise inaccessible villages in the Spanish countryside certainly does.
Ask yourself the following;
What about this goal is important to me? How will my life change once I achieve it? What will I gain by reaching it?
A- Make Sure it´s Attainable
There is no such things as impossible dreams only impossible ideas of how long it takes to achieve them and unaccounted for components which can lead to frustration or overwhelm, and that’s what causes people to give up. So check if your goal attainable now, given your current circumstances, commitments and resources or do you need to break it down into smaller more manageable chunks?
R- Record It!
Write it down. Goals that are written down have a far greater possibility of being realised. According to Dr Gail Mathews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University, your chances of attaining your goal increase by as much as 42% just by writing it down. You are taking your commitment to a deeper level, you are less likely to forget about it and if you do you have there in print to refresh your memory.
The physical act of writing it down adds a somatic element by taking an exclusively mental goal and adding a physical dimension, bringing your goal out of your mind and into your body. Writing it down in detail activates the left hemisphere of the brain (which processes language) and if you record it visually by creating a vision board you also activate the right hemisphere (which processes images) - I for one want my whole brain involved when it comes to achieving my goals, don’t you?
T- Make it Time Bound
The final tip for maximising your success when it comes to your goals is to set an end date- when you commit to completing your goals by a certain date it motivates you to take action now and it helps you to keep focused on your desired outcome. You can always adjust the time-frame later on if necessary, but don’t extend it indefinitely, adjust it to a specified time.
Don’t forget to have fun along the way, enjoy your successes and celebrate your wins.
I would love to hear how using the SMART Goal filter has changed your outlook and supported the fulfilment of your dreams big and small so drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or share in the comments.