SMART goal setting
To be honest, people don’t know how to set goals. Even when we really dream about something, we rarely achieve what we want. If you’ve caught yourself failing your New Year’s resolutions by February, you need to learn about SMART goal setting.
First, don’t blame yourself if something doesn’t work out. In schools, we are taught to read, write, count, but no one tells us how to really achieve what we want. There are no textbooks on how to set smart goals.
Secondly, stop focusing only on willpower. There are other ways to make dreams come true. For example, we conditionally divide the goals into poorly set and well set. Let’s say we want to improve our health:
“You need to clean yourself up" is a terrible goal;
“I want to lose 5 kilograms” is an unsuccessful goal;
“I want to eat right a few days a week, go to the gym three times a week for half an hour” is a good goal.
Note that at first we set easy goals: it will be easy to eat right for only three days and exercise for an hour and a half a week. This will help set you up for the win. The next step is to prepare the site for the new activity. Set aside 1 hour a week for groceries and buy yourself a gym uniform. The SMART goal setting methodology works in much the same way: we focus on the specificity of tasks, their achievability.
SMART Goal Setting Principles
SMART is an acronym. It decrypts like this:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – relevant
T – time oriented
Consider another example of goal setting. This time, we want to get richer:
“I would like to settle financial matters” is a very poorly set goal;
“I want to save 360,000 🪙 this year” is still bad;
“I need 36,000 🪙 to top up my savings account from every paycheck every month” is a great goal.
No more “I want to go to the gym every day” or “I want to travel more.” They will never become reality because:
- They are non-specific: it is not clear what they mean. When, where, for how many days, how do you want to travel?
- They are unrealistic: how do you want to “get rich” this year? For some people, getting rich means increasing their salary by 10,000 🪙, for others, it means earning several million dollars. What do you know how, know, are ready to do to achieve the goal? Are you ready to work tirelessly? Most often no
- They are based on willpower, not on a system. Willpower is not infinite – you need to calculate the amount of effort expended if you want motivation to last for a long time.
If you’ve been looking for a cure for vague, impossible goals, then the SMART goal setting system is perfect for you.