When you're thinking about setting a new goal, it is important that you do so in a way that will set yourself up for success. Too often, people fall into the trap of the ambiguous goal. For instance, I could write down my post surgical goal as "I will get better." The problem here is that there is no way to know when that goal is actually achieved. What exactly is better? How will I know when I've gotten there? How long will it take. That's where SMART goals come in. Each goal that you set should be:
|Mr. Moose's goal: wake Dad up before he dies of hunger using any and all means necessary.|
Your goal should be as precise as you can make it without limiting yourself. What exactly is it that you will accomplish?
Bad: I will get better
Better: I will complete physical therapy
M - Measurable
How will you track the progress towards your goals completion? Give yourself something you can easily track, whether it is a number of steps taken or an amount of money saved.
Bad: I will save money
Better: I will save enough to have a $1,000 emergency fun
A - Attainable
Is this goal possible? Make sure you don't set yourself up for failure. remember, it is absolutely possible to set small goals working up to something larger. This comes back to being specific and measurable. Give yourself something tangible to work for!
Bad: I will be the best piano player
Better: I will practice piano for thirty minutes every day for a month
R - Relevant
How well does this goal fit in with your lifestyle? Does it make sense in relation to your other goals? Working in non-profits, I'm a big believer in the mission statement. I think everyone should have one, and all of your goals should fit inside of your mission.
Bad: I will catch a world record sized fish
Better: I will explore three new hobbies to see how they fit my lifestyle
T - Time Based
This one is probably the easiest to forget, and the most important. A goal without a timeline is a dream. Give yourself a due date, and suddenly you have something active to work towards. This also allows you to break your goal down into smaller tasks.
Bad: I will lose weight
Better: I will lose 10 pounds by the end of May.
Do you have a major goal you're working towards? Let me know what it is in the comments, thne check back tomorrow for my big post-surgery goal. I'll also outline the sub-goals and action plan I'm developing to make it happen!