Have you ever wondered why you have had a difficult time achieving some of the goals you set for yourself? But you keep putting it off and telling yourself, “Someday…” Well, there’s a specific process you can follow that can help you set and achieve your goals. It’s called the SMART goal-setting process, and it’s used in schools and businesses because it’s both simple and effective.
Its criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker's Management by Objectives concept. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
• Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
• Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
• Achievable (agreed, attainable).
• Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
• Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Professor Rubin also notes that the definition of the SMART acronym may need updating to reflect the importance of efficacy and feedback. However, some authors have expanded it to include extra focus areas; SMARTER, for example, includes Evaluated and Reviewed.
SMART Goal setting brings structure and trackability into your goals and objectives, instead of vague resolutions. With the SMART checklist, you can evaluate your objectives. Another thing that's very important when setting SMART goals, is formulating it POSITIVELY. Remember that what you focus on, increases
The acronym can be broadly explained as follows:
S = Specific. Be specific about your goal. Who is involved? What do I want to accomplish? And so on
M = Measurable. Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of mini-goals. Set target dates along the way. How will you know when you have accomplished your goal?
A = Attainable. Develop attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach goals. Look for previously overlooked opportunities to achieve your goal.
R = Realistic. Your goal should have the right amount of challenge. Have you accomplished something similar in the past? You must believe that you can truly accomplish it
T = Timely. Anchor your goal to a specific time frame (it helps to create focus and sense of urgency).
Once you've charted to outlines of your project, it's time to set specific intermediary goals. With the SMART checklist, you can evaluate your objectives, create transparency and clarify goals.
Jennifer Christal David [B A in Psychology]
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