Many of us set ourselves goals that we want to reach in life.  So how do you go about this successfully?

If you want really want to reach your targets, one of the best methods of goal setting is setting achievable goals for the future.

What Is Smart Goal Setting?

smart goal setting works

When making goals, it’s important to learn about the acronym S.M.A.R.T.

Each letter stands for a different area of the goal. If you create a smart goal, you have created a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, and Timely.

Using SMART goals can help you make better goals and set you up for success in your goal setting.

S – Stands for specific, which means that your goal needs to be spelled out very precisely. Using language that leaves no doubt as to what the goal is, why you want to achieve the goal, and how you will get there is very important.

If you are not able to be detailed in your description of the goal, it will be hard to meet it. Take the time to do this part right.

M – Stands for measurable, which means that you should be able to use this as a metric for which to determine success. If your goal can’t be quantified, then it’s not a full goal and you won’t know how to tell when you’ve succeeded.

An example of a measurable goal is something like: “I want to add 200 dollars per week of income to our bank by writing five articles each week for a website.”

A –  “A” can stand for either actionable, assignable or achievable. The preference to really get something good done is to make your goal actionable, meaning something where you can do something for each day that will eventually result in an accomplished goal.

Goals should also be achievable or you will only get frustrated. Be accurate about the time it takes to reach a goal, and what actions it takes to get there. Also, know who will be responsible for doing it.

R – This can stand for realistic or relevant, and either or both are important and are true. If you want your goal to succeed, it should most certainly be something that is realistic or you will fail. It should also be relevant to your life’s vision and match with your values.

T – The “T” in the S.M.A.R.T. acronym can be either time-bound, timely or trackable. All of these ‘t’s’ are important parts of the goal creating and setting process.

If you don’t set a time limit and you can’t track what is happening, your goal will be hard to quantify or show as achieved.

Whichever words you use to help you craft your goals, the important thing is that you need to have a process to help you make smart goals.

Smart goals are goals that you follow through on achieving and know when you’ve met them.

How to Set Smart Achievable Goals For The Future

set smart achievable goals

In order to set powerful goals that are achievable, take some time to research the dreams you have to find out if they’re possible.

You do want to challenge yourself, but you don’t want to make the goals so hard that you experience only failure.

To ensure maximum success, make sure that your goals meet the following criteria.

Match Your Core Values

There are a few goal categories including:

  • Business
  • Career
  • Education
  • Financial
  • Physical / Health
  • Relationship

The more any goal fits into one of the four main areas of life – Family, Financial, Physical or Personal – the more likely you are to be able to set a realistic goal that you can achieve.

If a goal for some reason doesn’t fit into one of your core values, it’s not likely you’ll experience much success.

Be 100 Percent in Control

While goals that rely on others aren’t wrong, they are harder to achieve. Any goal that you control 100 percent is a goal that you can reach.

But ensure that you’re not letting fear get in your way or blaming fate for your failures, though. Self-limiting beliefs can get in your way on this one.

Be realistic about whether you do have control or not and give yourself more credit. For example if you think you do not have control over your financial future because “that’s just how it is,” you are mistaken and need to eliminate this line of thinking.

Carry out a SWOT analysis to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.  Once you are aware of any weakness – address it.

Be Able to Envision the Goal

visualize your smart goals

If you can’t see the end result, it will be very difficult to move forward toward achieving the goal. If you need to draw a picture, make a vision board.

Or  you can take a day out to fantasize about your big dreams and see how they all fit together in the big picture of your life.

You need to see the end goal to be able to truly achieve it.

Be Specific

Every goal you make needs to be very specific in nature. If you really want to be sure to reach the goal, you have to know when you reached it.

Instead of saying “I want to start a business,” state exactly what type of business you want to start.

Visualize and identify who you want to be your clients.  The more of that picture you can see, the more concrete the goal becomes.

Be Measurable

At which point have you achieved the goal? If you can’t give a number or something that is measurable, then you won’t have real  achievable goals.

If you want to use the business example, you might include that you want to earn x amount each week by a certain date and then how and why you are going to do it.

Be Actionable

To achieve any goal there has to be steps that you can take to get there. Like using a map to reach a destination that you want to go to, you need to draw a map to your vision of success with the steps and paths you’ll take along the way.

Put not only what but when, and how you’ll accomplish the step.

Smart Goals Examples

Remember goals can be personal, professional, educational, business, health, fitness and more.

They can be short, medium or long term, simple or complex.  Here are a couple of examples.

Smart Goal Example 1:

Tommy wants to lose 14 pounds by reducing the amount of carbohydrates in his diet..  This is an achievable goal, but it is not a SMART goal.

But his downfall is watching football on TV when he is likely to drink beer and eat snacks.  So he is likely to fail during the football season.

However, by setting a specific period to achieve this outside of the football season, he now has a SMART goal.

Smart Goal Example 2:

Peter and Jane decide to save up a deposit for a house.  A great, but vague goal.  To turn it into a SMART goal they need to add details.

So first of all set a target amount – for example $30,000.  Then they decide that it will realistically take 5 years to do this.

Now this SMART goal can be monitored and adjusted to make it achievable.

Make Smart Achievable Goals For The Future!

You don’t want to write a goal that is too hard to achieve or worse, impossible. Be sure that it’s scientifically possible to do it by researching everything realistically.

Break your tasks into small chunks.  This will result in  more specific, achievable goals.

For example, you’re not likely going to start a business today and earn six figures by tomorrow or even the first year in business.

Look at the research and determine what is reasonable and how you’ll do it.

Be Timely

make your smart goals time bound for success

Every goal has to have a time limit otherwise you may never achieve it.

Start with the end and work your way back to today.  Create the list of things to do each day to finally reach the end result. But, do set a time limit.

You can adjust as you get into the project if it works to be more realistic.  Try and resist the urge to change the time because you’re not sticking to your task lists.

Use this method to create powerful goals for the future that you can achieve.  You will not experience a lot of failure because you can always adjust your time line and your goals as you learn more.

The important thing is to give each goal a lot of thought, consideration and study before setting it.

Keep Track Of  Your Progress With A Goal Journal

Once you have set your goal, it really is important to keep track of it.  Remember the old saying – “a goal not written down is just a wish.”

Using a goal journal will allow you to put down your thoughts and reflect on how you are doing.  Keeping it up to date can provide the motivation for you to achieve your goal.