So, it is now 2012 and many people use the start of the new year to kick off the start to New Year’s Resolutions and goals for the year. One of the major downfalls to New Year’s Resolutions and the reason why most people tend to do really well for a week or so and then seem to drop all sight of their goals is because most people don’t start off creating goals for the year SMART-ly.
Making SMARTER goals applies to all goal-setting, not just for New Year’s Resolutions. To create a SMARTER goal, your goal should meet the following criteria:
Specific. Your goals should be specific and the more that you define what you want to achieve, the better you can figure out what it is that you need to do to accomplish your goals. The goal should tell who is involved, why it is important (Example: “My goal is to be skinny.” versus “My goal is to lose 25lbs to feel better about my body and to help lower my cholesterol.”)
Measurable. Your goal should have a result that is measurable, so that you have a way to determine whether you are reaching your goal and how far you are reaching your goal. (Example: “My goal is to be lose weight.” versus “My goal is to lose 25lbs.”)
Attainable. Your goal should be realistic and attainable within the scope of your skills, abilities and resources to achieve such a goal. (Example: A 40-year old setting a goal to become an NBA basketball player would not be a very realistic or attainable goal, since the chances of the NBA recruiting a player at that age are slim to none.)
Relevant. This aspect of goal-setting has to do with making sure that the goal has relevance and importance to the goal setter to work and reach his or her intended goals.
Timely. Your goal should have a timeframe for completion, whether it is a goal you are setting to accomplish by the end of the year or with a specific date in mind. This also helps with holding yourself accountable to your goals and gauging where you are with respect to attaining your goal.
Evaluate. Making SMART goals are important, but making SMARTER goals is even more important. The first aspect of this is to evaluate where you are with respect to achieving your goal. If your initial goal met the first 5 requirements to creating SMART goals, then this should be a pretty easy thing to do. For example, if your goal was to lose 25lbs by June 30th and you evaluate where you are on June 1st and determine that you still have 20lbs to lose to reach your goal, you might need to adjust the timeframe for achieving your goal and the methods you have created to achieve such a goal.
Re-evaluate. The second aspect of SMARTER goals is re-evaluating your goals. You’ve evaluated your goal and you might need to re-evaluate your goal (multiple times) to see where you’re going.
One other tip in creating goals for yourself for the New Year—whether personal or professional. Write down your goal. It is a proven fact that those who write down their goals are more likely to accomplish them. There’s a saying that goes, “Goals that are unwritten are just wishes.” So, write down your SMARTER goal and find yourself one step closer to accomplishing them.