Get What You Want Using SMART Goal Setting Guidelines

Setting goals using clearly defined goal setting guidelines is not as difficult as you think.

So why do people spend so much time and effort planning what they're going to do next weekend or where they're going on holiday .... and when it comes down to planning their future, they don't do anything about it!

Why do you think that is?

It may well be that they have different priorities or they're happy where they are. On the other hand, they may just not know where to begin. That's where this article comes in!

For someone who has not written goals before, this process could be a bit daunting .... but it doesn't have to be! Use the goal setting guidelines I've outlined here. You'll be amazed at the results!

By the way, when my kids are feeling a bit overwhelmed, I always ask my them: "How do you eat an elephant?" and their answer invariably is "One piece at a time!" ... And that's exactly what you should do when setting goals: one goal at a time i.e piece by piece.

Another tip I give my kids when they're feel a bit apprehensive is ""Feel the fear, but do it anyway" - which by the way is an excellent book by Susan Jeffers... well worth the read.

When setting goals, all you need to do is follow these very simple goal setting guidelines. You'll see how you can turn your dream into achievable goals. You'll be amazed at the outcome!

Goal Setting is About Deciding What You Want ...

               And Documenting An Action Plan To Get You There

Four Practical Goal Setting Guidelines

STEP 1: Write Your Goals Down

Writing your goals down emphasises the importance of a particular goal, clarifies what you wish to achieve and creates a commitment.

Very often you'll hear people say what they don't want. That doesn't work when you set goals.

Your goals must be about what you do want. They need to be stated positively. You'll achieve what you focus on.

If your goals are written negatively eg "I don't want..." then that's exactly what you'll get! Make sure that you do know what you want and write it down.

STEP 2: Write "SMART" goals

Goals must be specific; Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely

STEP 3: Develop an Action Plan

STEP 4: Review and Update

Review your Action Plan periodically to ensure you're on track. Depending on circumstances you may need to change or make modifications. That doesn't mean that you're changing your focus, it just means that you're making appropriate changes to achieve your goals.

Magic Happens When You Use SMART Goal Setting Guidelines

"S" = Specific

Specific goals define exactly what you want to achieve. Make sure they're your goals and not what some else thinks will be good for you.

The only person that can really decide what is best for you, is you.

Picture yourself on your 80th birthday. Look back on your life. Do you see yourself having achieved everything that you've set out to achieve?

Or are you thinking "If only I had.......".

"M" = Measurable

With measurable goals you're able to track your progress. Goals can be long-term, medium-term or short-term. Break your long-term goals down into short-term goals which can then be measured.

"A" = Achievable

It is important to keep your goals realistic. Goals need to be challenging but shouldn't be so difficult that they're unachievable. So, please don't set yourself up for failure. By keeping your goals challenging but realistic, you'll definitely get there!

I know ... I'm speaking from experience! Every New Year's Eve I'd make a resolution (which really is a goal) to walk for 1 hour, 7 days a week!

What do you think happened? I failed! So what I did was start off with a goal to walk for 1/2 hour, twice a week. When I achieved that I gradually built it up to 5 days a week for 40 minutes. That was more achievable.

What also helped was - I built my walk into my Daily Action Plan (short-term goal) as well. This ensured that I met my goal and I could tick it off every day (measure) when I came back from my walk. What a buzz!

"R" = Relevant

Choose goals that are relevant to your overall long term plan. You can have more than one, as long as they all lead to your ultimate goal.

"T" = Timely

Time-relevant goals give you the:

  • timeframe within which you want to achieve your goal
  • ability to plan what you need to do to achieve that goal and you then check on your progress.

I hope you find these goal setting guidelines useful.