By: Dr. Jasmin
Most of us set goals, new year’s is one of the most notorious times for this. Despite many of us setting goals, few actually achieve them. One reason being that we have no way of measuring any progress towards our goal because it is not specific enough. Below I will outline what each part of a S.M.A.R.T goal is about. I encourage you to look at your goal and check to see if it is stated in a way that makes it a smart goal.
To begin with, the S in smart goal stands for specific and simple. Meaning your goal is stated in a simple way and is precise. You are not for example saying you want to lose weight; you are specifying how much weight you want to lose and by when. You could for example be saying by November 3rd, 2021 I will have reached my ideal weight of 135lbs. If you were to just say lose weight, well technically half a pound less, is losing weight, but that is most likely not what your desired goal is. So, it’s important to be specific. This sentence will further evolve, as I continue to explain what a smart goal is about.
M in S.M.A.R.T goal stands for it’s Measure and Meaningful. Check to see if your goal is important to you, not your partner, not your family, not your friends or co-workers. It is something that you want for you. It is not to make others happy or get their approval, but it is something that you genuinely love to achieve for you. Also make sure it is measurable. In the previous example I gave, 135 lbs., is a measurable goal. You’re not saying you want to lose lots of weight but you can measure it by weighing yourself to see if you are progressing or have reached your goal. Another example might be if you say I want to earn more money. Not only is this goal not specific because well $1 more is earning more money, but without having a specific amount such as for example, I will earn $15,000 more dollars by a specific date, it is hard to keep track of where you are with the progress.
The A stands for it’s achievable. It’s a goal that you believe is possible for you to achieve. It also helps to break up a big goal into smaller goals, that way you don’t get overwhelmed and create doubt about achieving it. Think of your goal and write it out as if it is happening now. So, using the above sentence with weight loss, it is better to phrase it as: I am weighing 135 lbs. as of November 3rd, 2021. This is more effective than stating I will weigh 135 lbs. by November 3rd 2021.
R stands for it is realistic and responsible. Based on everything that is happening in your life, is it sensible to reach this goal by November 3rd, 2021 for example. Do you have the time to do 45 min of walking or running on the treadmill, given your current schedule and if not, will you then change your schedule so that you will be able to take the actions you need to make this goal a reality? In terms of being responsible, it also means that this goal won’t cause harm to someone. Meaning you for example are not constantly working out, to where you can’t keep up with your career demands, thereby impacting your income, and family members might then suffer. Please do not confuse this with feeling guilty about doing something for yourself. That is not where the responsibility is pointing at. In fact, for those that don’t do things for themselves, I would argue it is irresponsible for your well-being to neglect yourself and your goals, always putting others before you.
The T in S.M.A.R.T goal stands for it’s timed. Again, you want to set a specific date. Even if you think, as long as it happens this year, it is important to set a specific date (include day, month, and year). This way if your goal for example is earning an additional $18,000 by October 20th, 2021, you can break it down. You would say I have 6 months for example to achieve this goal, which means that ever month I would need to earn an additional $3000, break it down further, that means every week I need to earn an additional $750. Let’s say you work 5 days a week, that means on a daily basis during the work week, you would need t earn and additional $150. This is why setting a specific date lets you break things down to a weekly or daily level, thereby having a daily focus on what to strive towards.
I encourage you guys to look at the goal you have created or the goal you are about to create and ensure that it fits all the criteria of a smart goal. For additional help with achieving your goal, click the link for a free intake session and I’ll help you create some powerful shifts that will have you get into action and get results.