Without a plan, life can become just a set of happenings that you can’t control. With a detailed roadmap, however, you can chart a course for success that will help you be more purposeful with your time and efforts. Want to create a roadmap for your life? It’s time to get SMART.
Where did the SMART process come from?
The S.M.A.R.T. Goal setting process was developed in the 80’s by George Doran, a consultant with the Washington Water Power Company. In helping managers create goals and objectives for the company, he developed this process to improve the chances of success.
His plan worked, and business professionals have adopted his technique ever since. The SMART plan doesn’t just work for business, however. Anyone who wishes to reach their goals can put this plan into action in their own lives and see astonishing results.
What is a SMART goal?
SMART is an acronym that helps define and direct your goals. Instead of vague ideas of what you’d like to accomplish, using a SMART goal setting worksheet to establish clear milestones and objectives can help you bring both structure and accountability to your plan.
The SMART plan is create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound in order to help you succeed. Ready to get started?
Write down your goal. In as few words as possible, write down the goal that you’ve set for yourself. (It can be personal or professional – the type of goal doesn’t matter, it simply needs to be written down as succinctly as possible.) Once your goal is written down, it’s time to develop your SMART plan.
The mission statement of your goal, this is where you will give specific details about what you’re aiming for. Include answers to ‘Who?’, ‘What?’, ‘Where?’, ‘When?’ and ‘Why?’.
How will you know when you’ve succeeded? You need to measure your traction towards your goal. What metrics will you use to measure the progress you’ve made? Complete the sentence, “I will know I’ve reached my goal when …” to help you write this portion.
What do you need to achieve your goal? Are there additional skills you will need to learn? Do you need to schedule time during the day to focus on your goal? Do you need to purchase items to work toward your goal? List any additional resources you may need in this section.
Given the resources you have available, evaluate if this goal is realistic. It may seem unnecessary, but there is power in physically writing down your goals. Written statements such as, “I can achieve my goal of losing 20 pounds.” can be an effective motivator.
Deadlines are effective. Put a deadline on your goal, and set up some mid-point benchmarks to help you track your progress.
Now that your goal is SMART, you can get to work on reaching it. Keep your SMART worksheet where you can see it, and use it to motivate you as you work towards your goal.
Are you a high achiever? Do you pride yourself on getting things done? Are you looking for a way to harness your productivity and accomplish more through goal-setting? It’s time to get SMART about your goals.