Have you heard of SMART Goals but not entirely sure what it means? Or maybe you heard it was the greatest thing since sliced bread but have no flippin’ idea how to utilize them in your own life with your own goals?
Whatever the reason you found yourself googling SMART goals today this post is here to help you find out exactly what they are and how to use them to kick ass in achieving your goals.
Hi, I’m Jenn Summers! I’m a goal strategist life coach who helps empower women through building confidence, finding clarity and (re)discovering their happiness.
Remembering the 5 key acronyms for SMART is a great way to keep yourself on track with setting and achieving your goals. Using SMART goals is one of the most well known and successful ways to crush your goals.
When working with a life coach or mentor they will often have you sit down and work out your goals using this method.
You don’t need to memorize the acronym in fact I have a free gift for you!
When you join The Living A Boss Life Tribe Facebook Support Group You get Instant access to our FREE SMART Goals Cheat Sheet! You can print it, save it to your desktop whatever you need to do. This handy cheat sheet will help you set SMART goals with ease and no more need to google.
What SMART Goals Acronym Stands For
You are going to see a few variations for what the SMART goals acronym actually stands for. I myself switch out the A in SMART goals to Accountability. So let’s take a look at each and the variations, shall we?
For this post, I thought it would be beneficial to choose an example to use to show how SMART goals work. For example purposes only during the brain dump, one of the reoccurring goals was based around living a healthier lifestyle.
You need to be specific in choosing your goals. First I recommend doing a brain dump and getting all your goals out on paper and seeing which really stands out to you as the most important and the most relevant during this time of your life.
Be Specific, Clear & Concise About Your Goals
If you choose a huge goal then you need to break it down into smaller goals (I like to call these mini-goals). Think about what you would need to do first in order to get to the next step of your large goal.
Don’t think where you need to be in 10 years as that will be overwhelming. Think about where you need to be in 10 days or 10 weeks.
Ask yourself the following questions to help you get clear and concise on your SMART Goals:
- Who benefits from this goal?
- What do you hope to achieve at the end of this goal?
- How does this goal help your larger goal?
- What needs to be done first in order to achieve the goal?
- What will this goal do for you personally?
- How will it impact your life right now?
Example: Getting healthier by losing weight.
- My family, my job and my own health will benefit from this goal.
- I’m going to start my weight loss journey and take the first step to live a healthier lifestyle.
- By losing weight I will feel more energized and my health will start to get better.
- This is something I need to do right now as it is urgent and will help me build my confidence to keep going.
- First, I need to start by researching what will work best for me I need to reassess what I tried before and what went wrong.
- Losing weight will give me a new lease on life in both my health and in my self-image.
- It will impact me right now by proving that I can do this.
The goal needs to be measurable. You need to know how much, how many or some other measurable component to indicate that you achieved your goal.
Ensure to Set Measurable Boundaries
Without making it measurable you won’t know when you have achieved your goal.
If your goal is to lose weight then set an amount of weight you would like to lose. Making it measurable does not have to be overly complicated.
Example: My goal is to lose 10 pounds.
Achievable and/or Accountable
Whatever goal you choose you must remember that your goals need to be achievable!
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have the ability to attain this goal?
- What will I need to make sure I succeed?
- What have I tried before?
- What worked?
- What did not work?
- What is my biggest obstacle?
- Who can I ask to help me gain accountability?
Set Achievable Goals
Accountability partners are great for helping you brainstorm ways to make your goals achievable! I like to switch out achievable with accountability because I believe the accountability we get from partners is an amazing tool we should all utilize. Read more about accountability partners here.
Example: I choose (insert name) to keep me accountable.
This is the time to really dig into what you have tried before or things you have thought of trying but never put into action.
Writing these down on paper by hand will help your subconscious mind take notice that this is something you want to do, so make sure not to skip this step.
Realistic and/or Relevant
Are your goals realistic (relevant)? It is extremely important to break your goal down into a mini goal as I mentioned above for this very part of the acronym.
If our goal is too big we are setting ourselves up for failure. It will invoke overwhelm, we will not be able to stay focused and we will lose motivation.
Achieving smaller goals gives us the confidence to achieve another goal and the more small goals we achieve the more likely we are to tackle bigger goals with confidence.
Be Realistic When Setting Goals
You need to make sure that you are setting yourself up for a goal that you can achieve.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t aim for the moon, it just means you might fall among the stars if you’re not realistic. If you ask me that is still an amazing feat! But for the sake of this post, we want you to start achieving your goals right now with success.
By breaking down those huge goals into smaller realistic ones, we can work far better towards achieving those big dreams!
Example: My ultimate goal is to lose 50 pounds, exercise regularly, get my cholesterol in check and feel more energized. I want a healthier lifestyle.I choose to start with 10 pounds because research shows it is easiest to lose the first 10 and I have done it before by (fill in with strategies that worked in the past) and I will not do this (fill in with what did not work- think of triggers).
Timely and/or True to You
Your goals need to be timely, they need to have a start date and they need to have an end date.
Ensure that you include enough time to complete your SMART goals strategy before you begin. You should start to work out your goals and the steps leading to its success prior to your start date.
Your goals end date should provide enough time to successfully achieve your expectations. If needed go back to the realistic step above.
Goals Must Be Time-Bound
Not everyone’s realistic will be the same as yours so be prepared to dig deep and choose one that you feel confident you can achieve. Even if that means it is longer to achieve.
Example: I am going to lose 10 pounds in the next (insert number you are confident with) weeks.
I also like to tell my clients to make sure that this goal is true to you. Is this really what you want or what someone has told you you should want? If this the healthier lifestyle goal is because the doctors have said that your health is in decline and it is essential to fix it now it may be more difficult to get motivated and achieve your goal.
In this case you need to dig really deep and make the goal truly your own. You need to love yourself enough to want to benefit from the goal. You need to truly feel it deep inside of your heart and in your mind. Asking yourself why repeatedly is a great strategy to find your own personal why.
Example: Why am I losing weight? Because the doctors say I need to. Why do the doctors say I need to? Because it causing strain on my heart. Why is important to me? Because I want to live. Why do I want to live? Because I want to see my children get married and have children. Why do I want to see my children get married and have kids? Because I love them and it would fill my heart with joy. etc etc etc.
Dig until emotions and feeling come up in your why. Dig until there is a pain point that not achieving your goal would give you that is greater than the pin point of start the goal.
Think SMART to Successfully Achieve Your Goals!
Today you learnt what SMART Goals are and have seen an example of how to use them to achieve a goal. You learnt how to make sure your goal is true to you and what you want. You learnt how to use why to find a pain point if it is a goal you need to do rather than a goal you want to do. You now have a great foundation to start setting and crushing your own goals.
Now before you go and conquer the world I want you to promise me one thing. Every time you achieve a goal I want you to celebrate. I don’t care how small the goal is and how small the celebration is, I want you to celebrate it. I want you to remember you acieved it and I want you to feel confident and strong going into your next goal.
I know YOU have what it takes! Now get out there and find your confidence, gain your clarity and discovery who you have always wanted to be successfully!
Take care and chat soon;
Living A Boss Life