Are you craving a sense of direction this New Year? Let’s craft a plan. With the New Year on the horizon, lean into a fresh start by setting SMART goals. SMART goals act as a guide leading you from where you are to your desired destination. They meticulously outline and create a clear understanding of tangible performance steps that lead to expected results. Achieving success requires narrowing down focus and pinpointing areas of growth. Embrace the new beginning and let the coming year unfold with meaningful achievements and transformative personal growth.
- The first step is to get a clear vision of where you want to be. It’s important to consider what direction you want your life to move towards, similar to a mission statement. Questions to ask yourself may include “What do I want to accomplish, Why?”, “What actions will I have to take?”, “Who will be involved?”, and “When will this goal take place?”. Outline the specific action that you want to take. Using action verbs can help develop the specific language for your goal. For instance, words like develop, implement, maintain, or produce may help you frame the action you want to take.
- I need to determine How? How will I know if I’ve met my goal? How will I know if I am making progress? What does progress look like? This is where it is crucial to break down your goal into tangible pieces to measure progress. Measurement may be in numbers, surveys, or self report, meaning it will look different for each goal. Predicting desired thoughts, feelings, or behaviors in each step can indicate met milestones. Clarifying what success looks like combats getting lost in the gray area of measurement progress. This way, you can track and celebrate your progress along the way!
- Narrowing focus on an achievable goal is a must. It’s important to challenge yourself yet make it possible for you to reach. Considering the logistics behind the goal initially sets you up for success later on. Think, “How will I accomplish the goal?” and “What skills or resources do I need to be successful?”. Acquiring the tools now can increase inspiration to stay motivated later on.
- Making a goal worth your while can be the greatest predictor of success. Be honest with yourself and reflect if the goal is manageable, given your current situation. Forcing something that doesn’t align with your values, lifestyle, and workload may not be relevant. Pick a goal that applies to your life now and match values that will keep you true to yourself every time.
- Timing is everything. Time constructs a sense of control over your goal by setting limits. Limits can mimic a sense of urgency to make it happen. Determine when you will start and end your goal and what needs to be done daily to take one step closer to success. Identifying markers at a daily, weekly, and monthly level can keep you on track plus serve as a motivation reminder.
SMART goals serve as a valuable tool to initiate goal setting in a continuous and systematic manner. SMART goals can be built to foster success and motivation, by reaching tangible steps over a period of time. Performance and productivity result from following the SMART method. Accountability is measured, and you are held responsible for paving the way to your success. Let SMART goals guide this year through embracing continuous growth and achievement!