How many times have we made New Year's resolutions, only to have them unrealized and unaccomplished? Perhaps it is because we failed to put a workable plan in place to turn our dreams into reality. The S.M.A.R.T. Goals model provides that structure that can help us create the road map toward a feeling of purpose and accomplishment, that can be a wonderful confidence booster. It should be noted that there are several versions of the SMART model. Outlined below is a summary of the various models.
Specific or Make sure your goal is clear and concise. This is where your goal Significant addresses the "who, what, when, where and why"?
Measurable What is the mark of your successful attainment of the goal? How
will you know when you have achieved it? This is where you
define the end point or outcome of the goal. What are the
steps to take to accomplish this goal?
Achievable or Is this goal possible to achieve, in general by anybody? Have
Attainable or others successfully accomplished this goal? This is where one
Actionable can challenge oneself by stretching a little and striving to reach
a little higher, thus feeling more successful.
Realistic or Relevant Is this goal realistic for you, in terms of your skill set, interest
level, motivation and commitment? Also, what resources do
you have or need to accomplish this goal? Resources may be
in the form of functional, material aids, to social supports.
Time Bound By what date do you expect to accomplish this goal?
By setting a time target, it provides a marker, that allows
us to evaluate our success toward the goal and to aim
Some general tips:
Make a distinction between long term (at least one year to accomplish) vs. short term goals (attainable within one year or less)
Prioritize your goals and tackle the most important ones, first. Refrain from trying to juggle too
many goals at one time and becoming overwhelmed.
Reflect on the different areas of life to define goals within the various categories (i.e. personal, health, family, career, financial, etc.)