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Increase your chances of success – set smart goals!

 “Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.” – Denis Waitley

 In this month’s posts, I’ve talked a lot about setting goals. My Setting Goals and Getting Things Done workshop will add to and solidify these topics and many more. What I want to convey with these five posts is that while you may have a goal in mind, there are many different elements that go into setting your goals and accomplishing them is a whole different set of elements and processes. Yet they all work together hand in hand to breed ultimate success.

This post is vitally important to getting things done and is the linchpin of any successful venture. My own life journey is an example of both successful achievements and some not so successful. The common denominator in all of my unsuccessful ventures begins and ends with the lack of clear and detailed goal setting. That’s why Setting Goals and Getting Things Done is so important for any of you who, like me, have tried and failed before and want to learn how to successfully achieve your goals!

So for this final August post, I want to focus on setting smart goals and what goes into making your goals most achievable. This simple acronym will help you to understand the five major elements that go into setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Specific: Goals need to be specific. You will not be able to reach you goals if they are broad and general because planning will be too difficult. For example, “Improve my life” is too broad. You cannot work towards this general goal. Specific goals explain what is necessary to complete a goal and guides you as you try to reach the goal. Specific goals may also identify location, requirements, and the reasoning behind the goal.

Example:  General goal: Make more money. Specific goal: Earn a promotion with a pay increase.

Measurable: Goals need to be measurable in order to be effective. A measurable goal specifies the when a goal is accomplished by answering, “How much?” or “how many?” It provides measurable results. Without measurable goals, it is difficult to realize when the goal has been reached.

Example:  General goal: Become an entrepreneur. Specific goal: Create a business plan.

Attainable: Goals must always be attainable. It is important that you create goals that are challenging, but they still need to be within reach. When goals are unattainable, you will give up on them without even trying. The measure of a goal should always be attainable.

Example:  Unattainable goal: Earn $1 million in the next three months. Attainable goal: Earn a $2 an hour raise with my next review.

Realistic: It is important that you set realistic goals. Realistic goals are directly related to your abilities. For example, a goal to reprogram the computer is not realistic if you do not have the education or experience to accomplish the task. Additionally, you need to make sure that you have access to the tools necessary to meet your goals. If a goal seems unrealistic, break it down into smaller chunks to know for certain.

Example: Unrealistic Goal: Run a marathon (without training). Realistic Goal: Complete a marathon after training for a year.

Timely: Always create goals that have specific time frames. General goals do not establish any time frame, which means that you may continue to pursue goals that you should relinquish. Timely goals encourage you to move forward in order to meet the deadline you have established. Once a time frame has been reached, you should take the time to reevaluate the goal.

Example: General goal: Complete a computer training course. Timely goal: Complete a computer training course within the next month.

Whenever you create goals, you will find that following the rules for SMART goals will be easier to achieve. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When you combine the elements of SMART goals, you have a greater chance of success.

I look forward to meeting each of you soon when you participate in Setting Goals and Getting Things Done! I will announce this upcoming workshop soon with dates and registration information. Make sure to subscribe to this blog so that you don’t miss the announcement!

Maya GraceIncrease your chances of success – set smart goals!