Happiness & Success The S.M.A.R.T. Way.

Q. Why should I set myself personal goals?

A. The primary reason for this is that by setting goals you will clearly know where you are going and what you will obtain.

Also more than this it helps you to keep your mind and actions focused on obtaining realistic and personally stretching goals and desires which will benefit you in the long term.

To aid you in doing this there is a simple acronym to help you structure the way to set yourself some excellent goals -

S M A R T

Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” (and one “H”) questions:

*Who: Who is involved?

*What: What do I want to accomplish?

*Where: Identify a location.

*When: Establish a time frame.

*Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

*Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

*How: How will I go about this?

EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.”

A specific goal would say, “Join a health club by this date and workout 3 days a week every week.”

Measurable – Establish a tangible criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.

To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as….

*How much?

*How many?

*How will I know when it is accomplished?

EXAMPLE: What MI can you use to measure yourself?

What feedback can you use to measure yourself?

Achievable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work towards and achieve. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. What you need to ensure is that the goal you’re trying to achieve is stretching and at the same time of benefit, both to you and the business. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labour of love. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

Time-scaled – When setting your goal you will need to set down specific deadlines you will need to consider the following:

*When do you want to achieve the goal by?

*If actions to support this goal are set, when do you want this to happen?

*At what time points do you want to review your progress?

*What and when are your key objectives?

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