How to set Good Goals!

Most people set some type of goals for their life. They may not be long term or strategic, they may simply be a vague concept of what must or should be accomplished for that day.

But what makes a good goal versus a bad goal?

How do we know if we have achieved it?

What does success look like?

Setting goals for yourself is important but only if the goals provide direction to keep you moving forward towards achieving them. Good goals possess all the characteristics in the acronym S.M.A R.T.

Good Goals are Specific

A specific goal has a clear definable end. The goal is achieved when ______ happens. The purpose of making goals specific is that a clear target is always in view. When there is not a clear target, or the goal is not specific there is not a clear success point and focus will be lost.

  • Specific Goal: I want lose weight

  • Non-Specific: I want to be healthier

Though there are other components that need to be part of our example goal, the specific concept of losing weight can be looked at objectively as yes I did, or no I did not.

Good Goals are Measurable

A measurable goal has a metric or “Finish line” attached to it. To be measurable there needs to be a finish point that is not objective and allows for the creation of points along the way from start to finish that measure progress.

  • Specific Goal: I want lose weight

  • Measurable Goal: I want to lose 20 pounds.

Our first goal is specific and day-to-day we can look and say yes I am, or no I am not losing weight. A measurable goal gives us a finish point to aim at, to know when we have achieved the goal.

Good Goals are Achievable

The achievability test for a goal is a question of do you have the skills or ability to accomplish this goal or is this goal even able to be completed at all? The point of goals is focus through achievable accomplishment. If the goal is not achievable it serves the opposite effect and causes a lack of focus and feelings or irrelevancy toward the goal.

Good Goals are Relevant

When creating goals, it is important to take a holistic approach. Your goals should support one another to build yourself, your family, your job, or your business in positive ways. Your goals should not be the same, but they should be supportive and not run counter to one another. A goal to work 120 hours per week to get the promotion in your firm runs counter to the goal of 8 hours of sleep every night. When looking at the relevancy of goals the two important questions to ask are, why is this goal important and how does it compliment my other goals? If one of your goals is an outlier, then evaluating that goal for relevancy to the person or organization is the first step as it may need to be modified or removed.

Good Goals are Time-bound

For a goal to provide the direction and focus from a day-to-day decision-making basis there needs to be a sense of urgency applied to goal. If the time frame for completion is nebulous or movable, then the goal does not provide the static guard rails and endpoint the helps us decide if new opportunities take the place of old ones as they better support the goal. New opportunities can be added without sacrificing old ones if the timeline is movable creating a lack of hierarchy for milestones to be completed and achieve the ultimate goal.

  • Measurable Goal: I want to lose 20 pounds.

  • Time-bound Goal: I want to lose 20 pounds in 60 days.

By placing a time frame on the goal, it creates milestones and sub-metrics to gauge progress of achieving the goal.

  • Time-bound Goal: I want to lose 20 pounds in 60 days.

Our mind then does the calculation to get us from where we are to the ultimate destination.

- 5 pounds in 15 days

- 10 pounds in 30 days

- 15 pounds in 45 days

The breakdown gives clear direction and focus for in this case det and excise goals to remain on target to help achieve the weight loss goal.

By creating SMART goals we give ourselves a focus that provides day-to-day direction, and when the opportunities come up for something that would derail the goal a firm timeline, metrics and a specific outcome will provide the stability to stay the course and achieve all your goals.

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