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Do you struggle to achieve your goals?
Maybe it is time to get smarter.
I mean setting SMARTER goals.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing to do with you not being smart enough.
It is an acronym for a goal setting system.
It stands for:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Relevant
- T: Time-bound
- E: Evaluated
- R: Revised.
You may find different variations around this acronym, but this is “my” version. The one I believe will help you the best.
Let’s get into more details for every point of this powerful goal setting system.
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S means Specific
If you set a goal that is too vague, you are not very likely to achieve it.
Because you won’t know what action to take and have no way to know how far you are from your goal.
Let’s take an example. You set the goal of improving your health.
What’s that means? there is specified action.
Instead, you could say:” To improve my health, I will start doing workouts for 10 min for 1 month”.
This is much more specific and you know what to do to work on your goal.
You can be even more specific and set which exercises you will do for each session or each week.
M means measurable
Make your goal measurable to be able to know how much progress you are making.
For example, if you say: “I want to lose weight”, it lacks a measure.
Instead, you should say: “I want to lose 10 pounds (4.54 kg)”. You can measure it.
And you can track your progress every week or every two days for example.
A means Achievable
This sounds obvious, but you need to set realistic goals. To keep the same example, if you want to lose 10 pounds (4.54 kg) in 2 days, it is not achievable.
But I want here to add a bit of nuance that seem to me important.
To quote Brian Tracy: “There is no such thing as unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadline”.
Indeed, both goals and deadlines go together. We will see that below.
R means Relevant
This one is particularly important in my opinion. You have to make sure that your goals are in line with your vision, your purpose, your WHY.
I already wrote an article about how important it is to find your vision and follow it to live a fulfilled life. Thus, I won’t be longer on that one.
Just check your vision and see if this new goal is helping to take a step further towards your purpose.
T means Time-bound
As I said, goals and deadlines are linked together.
A goal without deadlines is not a goal, just a dream.
To go back to our example earlier, if you only say “I want to lose 10 pounds (4.54 kg)”, you won’t achieve that. It will remain an idea.
Instead, say: “I want to lose 10 pounds in 30 days”.
Now you will work on it every day to make it happen in 30 days. Not 10 years, maybe.
The usual goal setting system stops here and suggests you set SMART goals. But we want to be smarter. And set SMARTER goals.
Thus, we need those 2 extra letters, 2 extra points that make the system more complete.
E means Evaluated
Indeed, you need to sit down regularly and evaluate your actions towards your goal. At least when the deadline is approaching or even over.
You have to get an objective view of how much progress has been made. And why the deadline couldn’t be met if this happens.
Which is quite often. And there is nothing wrong with this (except for critical operations of course).
Because we are often guessing the deadline and the amount of energy, resources, and effort required to achieve a goal.
As Brian Tracy says, we “guesstimating”.
It is difficult to know how much time it will take because we can’t have control over everything. And we can’t predict what can happen during the period of time we have set.
That’s why the next and last point is so important.
R means Revised
Since it is likely that things won’t go as predicted, you need to take the time to revise your goals and deadlines.
Maybe you needed a few days. Maybe you need an extra contributor to the project. Or more money.
If your evaluation is made with enough detail and clarity, it will be easy to revise your goals and make them a success.
This is fundamental.
You know how to set SMARTER goals and I encourage you to apply that for any goal in your life. It will help you to achieve them and get more done.
But use this system is a guide, it doesn’t always need to be very strict.
And it is not the only way to achieve more.
You should consider starting a challenge to skyrocket your productivity.
Or starting new habits to grow your skills.
Have you got a goal in mind that you want to make SMARTER? Share it in the comments and let’s start the discussion!