Create a system that allows you to track your progress. Again, this is another tool to enable you to visualize your goals more. The more you can imagine your future and the success you are working toward now, the more you will want to continue.

Be SMART

No discussion about goal setting can leave out the example of George T. Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for the Washington Water Power Company, who published a paper on the idea surrounding the acronym SMART for goal setting;

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time-bound

Creating SMART goals ensures that any goal you set has a higher chance of being seen to fruition. Let’s go over quickly what the acronym means. Use this every time you set a goal to ensure that there is a path to success created for you from the process.

Specific: Goals need to be specific

Who, what, when, where, and why do you want to accomplish this goal? The more transparent the intention, the more apparent the plan to achieving the goal. Instead of saying, “I want to start a YouTube channel,” get more specific about what the channel is about and when you want to start publishing.

Measurable: Goals need a way to be measured

What will you use to determine that this goal has been accomplished to make the goal more tangible and measure progress?  

This might be as simple as yes or no, or a number. For example, if you want to lose weight, you know the number you want to lose. Instead of saying, “I want to lose ten pounds,” you might say, “I want to lose ten pounds in five weeks starting on November 1st. I’ll lose weight by walking 30 minutes a day at the park and eating nutrient-dense food with at least 1500 calories per day.

The idea is to make sure that whatever you are using to measure it will accurately reflect success to provide motivation. From the earlier example, if you only lost five pounds out of the ten, you have now estimated how far you have come along and can see how much longer you must go. 

Achievable/ Attainable and Actionable: Your goal needs to include how and be attainable

What do you need to do to able to do the goal? Do you need to acquire more skills or more time for it to be achievable? Maybe one of your goals is to receive a promotion at work in two years but to accomplish this goal you’ll need to acquire a certificate or, in other words, obtain more skills first to be prosperous. Just add that step to your goal to make it happen.

Relevant and Realistic: Your goal can’t be pie in the sky or have nothing to do with your life

Is the goal relevant to what you need right now? If you’re a 42-year-old with severe arthritis, it’s not realistic to say you’re going to climb Mount Everest, but you may be able to do something else smaller.

Is the effort worth the value you will receive in the end? To know if you are truly working on the most relevant goals, order them from the most valuable reward to the least. Then you can see which goal on top should be the one you work towards the most.

Timely and Time-Bound: Is your goal time-bound?

Your goal must be time-bound because if there is no set time or date of completion, chances are you won’t get it done. Setting a time and date provides an incentive to keep going and provides a way to measure.

The time factor also helps with planning. From the weight-loss example earlier, if you know you want to lose ten pounds in ten weeks, then you can break that down into a more natural, more attainable goal of one pound a week. That alone will make it seem more manageable, and due to that will provide you with more willpower to get it done since the changes in your life will be relatively small.

SMART goals are beneficial for most people, no matter if they’re goal setting for life or business. Goal setting that is done this way will produce much better results for you throughout your entire life.

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