The beginning of a new year is always a time for reflection, setting new goals, and striving for self-improvement. However, no matter how motivated and determined we start, we still can’t seem to achieve that goal. We have our SMART goal-setting routine down, but as the year goes by, we can’t seem to actually achieve them. To be honest, that is the most frustrating part of setting goals.
But what if we told you that the frustration you often feel could be a result of six essential factors that you may be overlooking when practicing Smart Goal Setting?
What is SMART Goal setting?
First, let’s define what SMART Goal Setting is. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic (Relevant) and time-bound. This method helps you set goals that you would not believe you achieved.
By following the SMART method, you can be more precise and accurate in the goals you set, giving you the tools you need to actually achieve them.
Smart Goal Setting: 6 Goal Achieving Habits That will change your Life
Habit 1: Don’t make your goals too broad
Setting goals is an excellent way to achieve something in life. It is garanteed success because it provides you with a plan of action to get to where you want to be. However, most of us set goals for ourselves that are very unrealistic or can’t be achieved as they are too broad. Leaving us frustated with ourselves.
For example, setting a broad goal like “I want to be happy.” is not achievable. There are no specificers to measure happiness. It is an emotion that is subejctive to you.
Setting a broad goal is like grasping at straws. It will get you nowhere, and you will be right back where you started. Frustrated, depressed, and anxious that you are not achieving anything.
So when you are looking for goals to set, make sure that the goal is achievable and measurable. Don’t romanticize your goal. Instead, be specific and measurable. For example, “I want to increase my income by 20% within the next six months by getting a promotion or finding a better-paying job.” This goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound.
Habit 2: Have a clear picture of your goal
Often, we set a goal but don’t have a clear picture of how to achieve goal we set. No matter if they are long-term goals, life goals, or relationship goals, having a clear picture of the steps you need to take to achieve your goal will help you actually get to where you want to be. It takes the guesswork out of achieving your set goal. It provides you with a plan of action that will help you succeed.
For example, if your goal is to move to a new place at the end of this month, you want to be in a new city doing something new. That means you have to plan it out. You need to know that your goal is decisive and the steps you need to achieve them. You can turn those steps into smaller achievable goals. Thus giving you the whole picture.
Habit 3: Make sure you are being held accountable
Setting clear and achievable goals is an important step in achieving success, whether in business or in personal life. One key aspect of goal setting is accountability. When we are held accountable for our actions, we are more likely to follow through on our commitments and work towards achieving our goals.
Additionally, accountability can be reinforced through external factors such as accountability partners. But if you don’t have someone who you trust enough to be there for you and hold you accounatble you can always make you goals public. One such way is to create a vision board that allows you to publicly view what you are working towards.
By prioritizing accountability in our goal-setting process, we can increase our chances of success and achieve our desired outcomes.
Habit 4: Turn your action steps into smaller goals
One of the biggest obstacles to achieving our aspirations is a lack of clear, actionable steps. But by breaking down your goal into smaller, short-term targets, you can stay motivated and on track.
For example, let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next three months. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the big picture, focus on losing 5 pounds in the first month. Not only will this give you a sense of accomplishment, but it will also help you to stay engaged in the process.
setting your action steps and turning them into small short-term goals is one of the best things you can do. Remember, every little step counts, and you’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make over time.
Habit 5: Reflect on your progress
Have you ever set a goal, only to realize months later that you’re no closer to achieving it than you were when you first started?
One of the biggest reasons we fail to reach our goals is that we don’t take the time to reflect on our progress. Reflecting on your progress is an essential habit for achieving your goals, as it allows you to see how far you’ve come, and how much further you need to go.
For example, let’s say your goal is to write a book. After a few months of hard work, you should take a step back and reflect on your progress.
Are you on track to finish the book within your deadline? Are there any changes you need to make to your writing routine to ensure you finish the book on time? Reflecting on your progress will allow you to stay on track and make any necessary adjustments.
Habit 6: Create a habit around your goal.
Creating a habit around your goal is one of the most effective ways to achieve it. Habits are actions that we repeat regularly, often without even thinking about them.
By making your goal a habit, it becomes a natural part of your daily routine, making it more likely that you’ll stick to it and achieve it.
To create a habit around your goal, start by setting a specific and measurable goal. Next, make a plan of action, including the specific steps you’ll take to achieve your goal. Then, start small and build up gradually.
For example, if your goal is to exercise every day, start by committing to just a few minutes of exercise a day, then gradually increase the duration and intensity as you become more comfortable.
Lastly, track your progress and celebrate your achievements along the way. This will help to keep you motivated and on track. Remember to be consistent and persistent, it takes time to form a habit, but it is worth it.
Habit 7: Celebrate your successes
Celebrating your successes is an essential part of goal setting. Not only does it give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation, but it also helps to reinforce the positive behavior that led to your success.
When you celebrate your successes, you are acknowledging the hard work and effort you put into achieving your goal, and you are also creating a positive association with the goal-setting process.
To celebrate your success, you can do something simple like treating yourself to a nice meal or indulging in a favorite hobby. You can also share your achievement with friends and family, or even write about it in a journal. It’s important to note that celebrating doesn’t have to be big, even small celebrations can make a difference.
For example, if you’ve been working on a specific task for a week and you complete it, you can take a short break, grab a snack, or call a friend to share your achievement.
Another way to celebrate your successes is by taking the time to celebrate the progress you’ve made towards your long-term goal, rather than just the end goal itself. Celebrating the journey is just as important as the destination.
Examples of Smart Goals:
Now that you know the habits you need to set awesome goals here are some examples of smart goals to get you started:
Long -term goals Travel: By December, I will have saved $5,000 for a two-week all-inclusive vacation to Hawaii. I will achieve this by increasing my monthly savings by $250 starting from January 1st, 2023 by reducing my monthly expenses, increasing my income through a part-time job, and selling items I no longer need. I will track my progress by creating a budget and updating my savings account balance every month, and I will reward myself by booking the trip once the goal is reached.
Short term goal: By May, I will have improved my time management skills by creating a daily schedule and sticking to it for 2 weeks. I will achieve this by making a list of the top 3 most important tasks for each day, scheduling specific time slots for each task, and eliminating distractions. I will track my progress by keeping a daily log of my schedule and how well I stick to it, and I will reward myself by treating myself to a spa day or some other form of self-care once I have successfully stick to my schedule for 2 weeks.
In conclusion, setting and achieving your goals is not an easy task, but by following these six habits, you can master the art of smart goal setting.
By making sure your goals are not too broad, having a clear picture of your goal, being held accountable, turning your action steps into smaller goals, reflecting on your progress and celebrating your successes, you will increase your chances of achieving your desired outcome and live a more fulfilled life.
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