Most people have heard about SMART goals. If you haven’t, then the acronym SMART stands for:
Do your eyes glaze over?
This is all good advice; however, I think the goal setting process makes some people’s eyes glaze over.
It seems like for the past two or three decades, the ears of millions of people have heard the word “goal” so many times it doesn’t even register.
Also, despite the effectiveness of many processes and acronyms such as SMART, people are just simply finding the thought of setting goals to be overwhelming, confusing, or unimportant. I can understand why. So many self-professed gurus have taught so many different ways to set goals that it’s enough to leave your head spinning.
Are goals actually worthwhile?
Goals are extremely important to your life, business, and career.
Properly setting goals and achieving them can transform your relationships and health into something truly amazing. So, is there a simpler way to set goals that’s easy to remember and increases your chance of not only reaching for the stars, but also grabbing them? Yes!
It’s all about clarity.
If you have ever worn corrective lenses (glasses) or protective goggles, then you’re familiar with the irritation caused by dirty and smudged lenses. It’s irritating. It makes it hard for you to see. If you’re working, then it distracts you from your job. The same holds true of fuzzy goals. They lack clarity, cause irritation, and distract you from the main purpose – the goal itself.
Your 7 steps to clarity & goal achievement
The acronym SMART and many others set out to help you create crystal clear goals. No matter what your goal, you can take the following steps to achieve it.
- Describe your goal in as much detail as possible. That includes color, feel, shape, etc. The more vivid the better. If you’re goal is to become a certain type of person or professional, then write it down in as much detail as possible. Also, close your eyes and imagine yourself doing, being, and living as that person. The more clearly you can see what you want or who you want to become, the easier it will be for you to achieve the goal.
- Determine a long list of reasons why you want to achieve the goal. The more reasons you have the better your motivation and persistence. I suggest you set a timer for 10 minutes and write as many reasons as possible. Then put the list aside and come back the next day, briefly review it, and add more. Developing plenty of strong and powerful reasons why you want to achieve the goal creates a relentless commitment to obtain it.
- Make sure your goal is realistic, but also challenging. There’s nothing more frustrating than attempting the impossible. There’s nothing more boring than pursuing something too easy. Find a balance between the two and you’ll spark the necessary fire within yourself to pursue your goal until you attain it.
- Add a date or deadline to your goal. Without a date, it’s simply not a goal. The date adds clarity as to when you want to achieve it, adds urgency, and allows you to plan for the goal.
- Make a list (plan) of what you must do in order to achieve your goal. This will include specific actions. It also might include reading a book, doing some research, or recruiting the assistance of a coach or mentor. Prioritize your list. Place the tasks in sequence of what must be done first. Sometimes you’ll have to do a little research or study to create a list of actions.
- Take at least one step towards your goal every day. Action is what makes it happens. If you find yourself overwhelmed, then you might be attempting to accomplish too many things or goals at once. It’s good to focus on only 1 or 2 major goals at once. Also, it’s nice to start out with small goals that don’t take long to achieve. This builds confidence and excitement.
- Track your progress. If you’re goal is to lose 33 pounds by a date that’s 4 months away, then you’ll want to track a few areas such as exercise, nutrition, and weight loss. It would be ideal to simply record or track your activities on your calendar each day. For example, if you walked for 60 minutes, then you could just place “60-min walk” on the calendar for that day. Tracking your progress provides you with a crystal clear idea as to whether you’re on the right path and doing the work. It also allows you to make any necessary adjustments. Of equal significance, tracking your goal can be very motivating when you notice you’ve consistently completed steps day after day.
That’s an easy to remember 7-step process for reaching for the stars and achieving your goals.
One more thing
Many people forget one more powerful step.
Reward yourself and celebrate the victories. Don’t wait until you’ve reached the finish line. Provide yourself small celebrations along the way at certain milestones. For example, if you’re goal is to lose 33 pounds at a rate of 2 pounds per week, then provide yourself with a positive activity, celebration, or reward. This keeps you moving forward. Such rewards are very important when you have a goal that’s far out in the future. Follow the steps above, and whatever your goal, you’ll make it happen.