Many of us have plenty of goals we’d love to achieve. We’ve got ones we’ve held onto for years thinking to ourselves that one day we’ll do that. Other goals may be fairly new, and then there’s the ones that come and go, that we forget about and only remember when someone or something reminds us of them.
Most probably you keep your goals floating around in your mind, waiting for the perfect time or opportunity to start working towards them. Maybe you’ve even tried a couple of times to go out and get that dream, but faltered somewhere along the line and have given up believing that it probably wasn’t meant to happen anyway.
And then, there’s that one special goal that you know for sure one day you really will achieve. You’ve even written it down. You’ve got it in your wallet or stuck on your fridge because this is a really great goal, and when the time is right, you’ll grab this goal with both hands and really really enjoy it.
Then there are some people who say that they don’t have any goals at all.
Is any of this sounding familiar?
We all have goals on a daily basis. They can include things such as getting to work prepared and ready by 9am. It could be to cook a nutritional meal for your family. Anything that you plan to do throughout your day is a goal that you’re working towards. These goals however are usually habitual, so the steps you need to take to achieve your goal is already part of your subconscious and you don’t have to actively work towards achievement.
The problem with having bigger goals is that we tend to work towards them in the same manner that we work towards our everyday items. You don’t need to write down a goal such as “Arrive at work by 9am, well presented and fully prepared for my first meeting.” You don’t need to write down action steps such as:
Have a shower
Fix hair etc.
These things just naturally happen for us if we set our intentions to arrive at work prepared and on time.
Our bigger and more important goals usually require a bit more planning and effort and setting SMART goals will help you achieve them much more quickly.
A SMART Goal is something that is:
Once you’ve decided what it is you want to achieve, have a look at the following points:
Is my goal Specific and detailed? Does it describe exactly what I want? Your goal may be "To become healthier." Does this mean you want to become fitter, leaner, more flexible, eat more nutritious food? You need to clear about what it is you're actually working towards otherwise it’s easy to get distracted by other bright shiny things along the way.
Is your goal Measurable? Will you be able to tell when you’ve achieved my goal? For example, “Become healthier” as a goal won’t let you know when you’ve actually attained your goal. Is it after you’ve been for a run or eaten a piece of fruit, or is it after you’ve been for a run every day for 3 months? You need to be able to tell when you’ve achieved your goal.
Is your goal Achievable? Do you honestly believe that you can achieve this goal? Without faith, you won’t even come close to achieving your goal. You’ll find many reasons and excuses as to why it hasn’t happened, so you need to make sure you believe you can actually reach your goal.If need be, you may like to set a smaller goal first, so your sense of faith and belief are strong, and you also give yourself the motivation to keep going after you’ve already achieved one goal. So if your goal is to run a 10km marathon by the end of the year but you struggle to walk up a hill, your faith in achieving your goal may not be what’s required, and you’d be better setting a goal to walk 5km by the year end. When you reach your first smaller goal, you can immediately start work on your next big one.
Is your goal Relevant? If you have a big goal to go on a twelve month holiday and then you create a new goal to buy a new sofa your new goal takes you away from your main goal – its not relevant to you main goal and it keeps you from achieving it sooner. Review your goals and ensure they’re all relevant to what you really want.
Is your goal Time Bound? When will you achieve it by? Without a deadline you could keep your goal in your mind forever. Having a time-frame to work towards greatly increases your motivation.
Now that you’ve set your SMART Goals, another couple of steps will keep you focused on them and moving consistently towards achieving them.
Write it down. When you write your goals down, you give them greater clarity. You release them from your mind, giving you room for better insights and awareness into how to achieve your goals. Writing goals down also gives you a visual picture in your mind of what you will achieve. Seeing the end result gives you a much larger chance of achieving your goal. You can download my SMART Goal template here to help you write them down.
Review them. Make sure you read and reread your goals on at least a daily basis. Remind yourself constantly of what you want to achieve. Picture yourself having achieved your goal and what your life is like now that you have reached your dreams. The more detail you can put into your revisions and visualisations, the easier you’ll find your goal to achieve.
Good luck on working towards your goals.