Setting SMART Goals is the first step in any planning process. All plans require goals. Goals are the objectives of our plans. A plan without a goal is a journey without a destination. Today I will show you how to set achievable goals.
SMART is an acronym that helps goal setting. There are a few versions of this acronym, This is the one I prefer.
Your goals need to be specific rather than general. For instance, I want 4,000 visitors to this blog every month by March 1st, 2019. Rather then, I want more visitors to this blog. The first statement is very specific, the second statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Being very specific helps you focus.
You need to be able to measure your progress towards your goals. This tells you that you are on track to meet your deadline. It also helps you get excited about achieving your goal.
You need to take action to achieve your goal. If there is no action you can take to achieve your goal than you do not have a goal, you have a dream.
Your goals need to be Realistic. Setting a goal to land on the moon next week is not realistic. However, setting a goal to exercise for 30 minutes a day is.
You need to set a deadline. If there is no date to achieve your goal by then you never have a reason to get started. You can always do it later or tomorrow or some other time unless you have a deadline.
Setting SMART Goals
Write a list of 10 goals that you want to achieve. Make sure they are SMART Goals. Here is a list of Goals I have:
- I will earn $6,500 between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2018.
- I have finished setting up Australian-Self-Reliance.com by 2nd April 2018.
- I have finished the business plan for Australian Self-Reliance by 3rd April 2018.
- I have a clean desk by 4th of April 2018.
- I have a clean shed by 8th of April 2018.
- I own a 4wd diesel dual cab ute with air conditioning by 1st June 2018.
- I grade P3 at Krav Maga by 30th August 2018.
- I have created five websites by 30th June 2018.
- I study my permaculture design course each week.
- I produce all of my own food by 30th March 2020.
Prioritise your Goals
It is vital that you prioritise your goals. You can’t work on everything at once. Some goals take a long time to realise and you can work on other goals at the same time. Earning $6,500 in 30 days is a high priority but I have another 28 days to complete it. Whereas I only have one day to complete the business plan. Also, I can work on multiple goals at once. For instance, if I have already earnt the daily amount of money I need to earn then I can work on cleaning the shed that same day.
Setting SMART Goals Requires Planning
I have a post here on planning. In that post, objectives are the first step of planning. So, our SMART Goal is the objective. Therefore, we can create a plan for each one of our goals. This is the “A”, the ACTION part of SMART Goals. When we make a plan to achieve a goal and execute that plan our goal is action oriented.
What kinds of goals should we set?
Anything that you wish to achieve, that is realistic and can be clearly defined can have a goal set. For instance, “On my next day off I am going to watch every episode of Jessica Jones on Netflix.” This is a “SMART” Goal, it is specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-based. However, it may not be a smart goal. So, I try to be smart when setting SMART goals.
The types of goals I set can be classified like this.
- Mental Improvement – learning new knowledge and skills, i.e taking a permaculture course.
- Physical Improvement – learning and honing physical abilities, i.e. training at Krav Maga to better protect myself and those I care about.
- Financial – earning a set amount or reducing expenses by a set amount over a set period of time.
- Self-Reliance – Any goal that moves me closer to self-reliance, such as supplying all my own food.
- Spiritual Goals – this is personal to you, for me, it means doing my meditation and prayers every day.
- Health Goals – diet and exercise goals.
- Family or Social Goals – any goals that build your relationship with those you care about.
- Charitable Goals – Any goals that benefit your community without any reward for yourself.