The New Year is a time for reflection and goal setting. Many people choose to set SMART goals in order to increase their chances of success. What are SMART goals, you ask? They are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. You can set SMART goals at any time of year, but I find them particularly useful to help stick to my new year’s resolutions!
In this blog post, we will go over each of these components and give you tips on how to set effective SMART goals for the New Year.
What are SMART goals?
There are five elements to a SMART goal:
- Specific: A specific goal is one that is clear and well-defined. It answers the questions who, what, where, when and why. For example, a specific goal might be “I want to lose 20 pounds by June 1st so that I can feel better about myself and be healthy enough to play with my kids.”
- Measurable: A measurable goal can be quantified or qualified. In other words, it is a goal that can be tracked or measured in some way. For example, a measurable goal might be “I want to save $200 per month so that I can have a $2,400 emergency fund by December 31st.”
- Achievable: An achievable goal is one that is realistic and attainable. In other words, it is a goal that you can actually achieve given your current circumstances. For example, an achievable goal might be “I want to get promoted to Manager by the end of the year.”
- Relevant: A relevant goal is important and meaningful to you. It is a goal that aligns with your values, interests and/or long-term objectives. For example, a relevant goal might be “I want to start my own business within the next 5 years so that I can be my own boss and have more control over my work/life balance.”
- Time-bound: A time-bound goal is one that has a specific deadline or timeframe associated with it. For example, a time-bound goal might be “I want to travel to 10 different countries by the time I’m 35.”
Why might SMART goals work for you?
Adopting this method can have numerous benefits for achieving your dreams and reaching success. For one thing, SMART goals give you a clear roadmap of what you need to do in order to reach your objective.
You’ll have a better understanding of the steps necessary and what resources or support you may need to acquire along the way. Additionally, using SMART goals helps to keep you accountable and motivated, as you can track your progress toward the goal and readjust any plan if necessary.
How can you track your SMART goal progress?
Setting SMART goals is a great way to stay on track toward achieving your aspirations. But how can you keep track of your progress toward these goals?
One method is to set regular check-ins for yourself. This could be weekly or monthly, depending on the time frame for your goal. During these check-ins, review where you are compared to where you wanted to be at that point. Are you ahead of schedule or behind? Are there any obstacles standing in your way? Adjusting accordingly can help ensure you stay on track toward achieving your goal by the end date.
Another option is to use a habit tracker app or spreadsheet. These allow you to visually see your progress and check off each small step as you accomplish it. Whichever method works best for you, regularly tracking and adjusting your progress can help lead to the achievement of your SMART goals.
Are there any situations where SMART goals might not work?
SMART goals have become a popular method for setting and achieving objectives, but they may not be suitable in every situation.
One potential issue is that SMART criteria can limit creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. For example, if a goal is too specific or only allows for one set path to success, it might not allow room for innovative solutions. In addition, SMART goals can also hurt team dynamics.
Since each person’s individual goals are often based on their own performance and success, it can create competition instead of collaboration within the group. Ultimately, it’s important to assess whether using SMART goals will truly benefit your specific situation and overall objectives before implementing them.
Setting SMART goals
Now that you know what SMART goals are and why they are important, it’s time to start setting some for yourself! Remember to keep them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound if you want to increase your chances of achieving them. Good luck!