Buffer

What are SMART Goals?

Elvis Elvis

Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time Specific

Specific

A smart goal has to be specific, not general. When you decide you are going to do something, be precise. Don’t say things like tomorrow, at night, a book or homework. Instead say Thursday, 8:00pm, Of Mice and Men and math homework. By making generalizations you leave room for changing your goals. A fuzzy generalized goal is not a good one.

Example: (Not Specific) I want to lose weight. (Specific) I will lose 3 pounds by Friday.

Measurable

You have to be able to measure a goal. When you think you have completed your goal, can you be certain? A goal with a time line is easily measured because when the time is up you can see clearly whether or not you have completed your goals. A goal must have some way to measure it’s completion and success, otherwise how will you ever know if you actually achieved it?

Example: (Not Measurable) I’m going to study really hard for my test. (Specific) I’m going to study each night for 1 hour and get a B+ on my exam.

By saying you’re going to study really hard for a test, there is no real way to determine if you have achieved it other than by examining it yourself. By setting yourself times and the goal for a B+, when you get your mark back you will see if you have reached your goal.

What are SMART Goals?

Achievable

In order for a goal to be achievable, it has to be broken down to fit into your lifestyle. You have to take into consideration your work schedules, kids schedules, unwinding times etc. It is easy for a goal to become a dream when you don’t think it through or plan it well. You have to take your goal and break it down into daily actions. Make a plan for a goal that you would like to have accomplished at the end of the week. Break it down into daily tasks and see if it will fit into your schedule. You don’t want to create a goal that you cannot reach.

Example: (Probably not attainable) I want to lose 50 pounds this month. (Attainable) I want to work out 3 days a week for one month, make healthier food choices daily and lose 3 pounds a week.

By breaking down the goal, you will see if it fits into your routine therefore making it attainable.

Realistic

In order for a goal to be realistic you have to want it! You have to have a drive and desire to make it happen. If you are not interested in making it happen, you’ll lose interest and the goal will be forgotten. Ask yourself if you feel like you can do and if you want to do it.

Example: (Not realistic) I don’t really like gym class but I want to be athlete of the year. (Realistic) I love art and would like to win the art award at the end of the year.

The difference is in one goal you want something you aren’t even interested in. In the other goal you are passionate about the topic and want to make it a success.

Time Specific

Every goal you set has to have some sort of a specific time line. It is important to set one deadline or a few deadlines. If it has no end time, why start now. By creating a time line you give yourself something to work for. It can also make it easier to stay on track with larger goals. Long term goals could seem never ending. By setting smaller timed goals and reaching them it gives you rewards and drive to continue on.

Example: (Not Time Specific) I would love to lose 80 pounds. (Time Specific) By Christmas of this year I want to be 80 pounds lighter.

The second goal gives you something to work for, a target. We would all love to lose some weight sometimes but if we don’t set a time when we want to lose it by we may never get there.

SMART goals can help you be happy. The smarter your goals, the easier they are to attain and the more successful and happy you will feel after achieving them.