Are you goals vague? Are you fed up with goal setting because it never works for you? If so, this article is going to change that. After following this framework, your approach to goal setting will transform. All it takes is to learn how to set SMART goals.
Having detailed goals are the key to accomplishing them and this method will guide you to create them. Keep reading to find out how to do this. And if you can't wait to get started, download your free goal planner now.
What Is SMART Goal Setting?
To understand how to set SMART goals, you first need to learn what it stands for and why you want to answer each section of its framework.
SMART commonly stands for:
- This should help make the goal clear.
- Answer what, why, who, where and which.
- Add numbers and metrics to your goals.
- It helps you track progress and see how close you are to achieving your goal.
- Setting goals that stretch you but are still doable.
- You want realistic goals which will happen
- Is the goal something that matters to you and makes sense?
- You need to have the money, time or skill to achieve it or be able to make more money, time or develop the skill.
- Setting a time frame of when you’ll complete the goal gives you a deadline.
- You want a time frame that’s long enough to achieve it but not too long that you lose momentum.
There are other versions of what SMART stands for and you can use the words that suit you. But I’ll be following the above version for the examples.
- S: Specific | Stretching
- M: Measurable | Motivational
- A: Achievable | Action-orientated
- R: Relevant | Realistic
- T: Time-based | Trackable
Why Should Goals Be SMART?
With the common SMART goal setting method, you’ll know when you’ve reached your goals and be able to track them. Also, it’ll make your goal clear and help you break it down into action steps.
Why Bother With Goal Setting?
Goal setting is a huge key to time management. By knowing where you want to be, you can decide what to focus your time on. You can break your goals into small, actionable steps which you can act on monthly, weekly and daily.
The decisions you make are based on your priorities. And without goals, you don’t know what you want to accomplish.
What Are Some Examples of SMART Goals?
It's all well saying how to create SMART goals but wouldn't it be better if you could see examples of it? Well, below are 2 examples that have been converted into SMART goals so that you can see how it applies to you. They start with a simple goal that is broken down to create a detailed, achievable goal using the SMART goals framework.
Starting goal: I want to travel more.
- S: I want to travel more because I want to experience different cultures.
- M: I want to travel to 1 country every other month.
- A: I am able to take the time off work or I am able to take my work abroad.
- R: It matters because travel is something I love.
- T: I'll give myself 2 years to achieve this goal.
End goal: I want to travel to 1 country every other month within 2 years because I want to experience different cultures. Within 1 year, I will have travelled abroad 3 times.
Starting goal: I want to get fit.
- S: I want to have a toned body.
- M: I will exercise for 30 minutes 6 out of 7 days a week.
- A: I can wake up earlier to fit exercise in.
- R: This goal matters to me as I want to feel my absolute best, physically and mentally.
- T: I will achieve this goal within 1 year.
End goal: I want to have a toned body within 1 year because I want to feel my absolute best, physically and mentally.
How To Write Your SMART Goal
To write your own SMART goals, follow these questions to delve into the details. Pay special attention to why you want to achieve your goal as this will motivate you to keep working towards it.
Starting goal: I want to...
- Why do you want to...?
- What do you want to achieve?
- How will you know when you have achieved it?
- What will you see, hear, and feel?
- Can you achieve this?
- Do you have the time, money, resources, or skills to reach it? If not, can you create more time and money or increase your resources and develop your skills?
- Why does this goal matter to you?
- Will this goal bring you closer to what you want to achieve?
- When do you want to achieve this by?
- What can you do in half the amount of time?
End goal: I want to (specific and measurable) in (time frame) so I can (relevant). Within (half your time frame), I want to (specific and measurable).
How Do You Write A Goal Plan?
A goal action plan is a 1-2 page plan that details what your goal is and what steps you are going to take to achieve your goal.
Your action steps should be small and easy to do.
It takes only 4 steps to create your goal plan and you can make it even easier by downloading your free goal action plan planner insert.
- Brainstorm all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
- Choose your mini goal for the next 3 months based on your action steps.
- List your 3 month action steps with deadlines.
- Repeat every 3 months until your goal is reached.
Action Plan Example
I want to have a toned body within 1 year because I want to feel my absolute best, physically and mentally.
- Buy a gym membership
- Create or buy a fitness schedule
- Buy workout clothes
- Create a morning routine that includes working out
- Gradually wake up earlier
- Choose a new wake up time
- Find and follow a healthy meal plan
For a more in-depth guide, read my article on creating your goal action plan.
How Do You Achieve A Goal?
Setting your goals is great but working towards your goals and achieving them are a different matter. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to turn your goals into your reality.
- Put your goals somewhere you can see them daily.
- Break the goal down into action steps.
- Set aside time in your day to work on your goal.
- Schedule your action steps into your weekly planner.
To learn more strategies to transform your goals into reality, read my other post on the top 8 tips to achieve your goals.
To turn your goals into reality, transform them into SMART goals using the formula above. Then download your free printable goal action plan and create a plan that lists all the steps you need to achieve your goal. This will give you a strong foundation to make your goals work for you.