Create SMARTER Goals – Step 3 in the Goal Achievement Process
A critical step to creating an achievable goal is writing your goal down. But, it’s important to take that a step further and format it properly.
You need to write your 90-day goal in a way that you can use it to motivate you and measure your progress.
WHAT IS A SMARTER GOAL
We’ve all heard of the SMART system for writing goals, but I’ve taken that system and revised it to make it even more focused. I suggest you use the SMARTER system to make sure that a goal is stated in a way to make accomplishing it more doable.
SMARTER is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, Time-bound, Exciting, and Recorded. Goals written in the SMARTER format look like this:
Clearly define your goal; answer what, why, and how. Be as specific as possible. For example, rather than saying “I’m going to lose weight”, say “I’m going to lose 20 pounds”. That’s more specific!
Make sure your goal contains concrete criteria for measuring your progress. Using the weight loss example above, how would you know when you have achieved the “I’m going to lose weight” goal? Without it being measurable, once you’ve lost 1 pound you can quit because you accomplished the goal. I doubt that was what we were thinking when we made the goal. Having specific metrics, such as an amount, enables you to accurately measure and celebrate your progress.
Have you determined how you will be accountable for your goal? How will you make sure that your making consistent progress toward this goal? Will you report your progress to a friend or mastermind group on a regular basis? Will you post your progress in a Facebook group thread? There are lots of ways to hold yourself accountable for taking action towards your goals, make sure you’ve incorporated at least one into your plan. When writing out your goal, I actually recommend that this be a separate, second sentence in the goal statement.
Your goal should be challenging yet realistic. I know, I asked you to dream big. Can you dream too big? NO! But your goals must be realistic. Having a goal of teleporting to another planet in the next 5 years is not realistic (yet). You should be capable of reaching your goal and have the resources you need to reach it. Using our weight loss example, it’s not realistic to seek to lose 200 pounds this year. But it is realistic to lose 20 – 30 pounds this year.
Your goal should not only be specific about what, but also about when. Both what and when work together to allow you to measure your progress. Be sure to specify the time frame for accomplishing your goal. Our example of “I’m going to lose 20 pounds” could easily meet all the previous criteria, but it doesn’t have a time component. Therefore, you don’t know when to measure your success. By setting a “due date” you put urgency on your goal. A free-floating goal is one you will never work towards. After all, you have all the time in the world! By having your goal time-bound, it’s no longer whenever you get to it, it’s now you need to work on it soon.
Is your goal exciting to you? Is it truly something that is important to you? Is there a reason why you want to accomplish this goal? Sometimes goals that aren’t well thought out turn out to be not very important to us. We either stated the goal because we thought that was what someone else wanted to hear, or to “fit in” in with a group. If a goal isn’t relevant to you, it won’t hold your attention and therefore you won’t achieve it.
Now you need to write your goal down and put it where you’ll see it every day. I recommend recording your goal in you planner but also in other places that will help you maintain your focus. Write your SMARTER goal on 3×5 cards and post them in places where they will help keep you on track, your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, the dashboard of your car.
CREATE YOUR SMARTER GOALS
Now that you know what a SMARTER goal is, apply the process to your goals. This will make it much easier to achieve the goal since you will know exactly where your headed.
9 Steps to Goal Achievement
Creating SMARTER Goals is Step 3 in the 9 Steps to Goal Achievement. The 9 Steps to Goal Achievement is a process for not only setting but achieving your goals. Click here to get the overview of the process in a convenient printout. Check out these posts for more detailed information on the other steps in the process.
Step 1 – Dream Big
Step 2 – Write Down Your Goals
Step 3 – SMARTER Goals
Step 4 – Give It Meaning (coming 6-29)
Step 5 – Create an Action Plan (coming 7-27)
Step 6 – Visualize the Process (coming 8-24)
Step 7 – Implement the Plan (coming 10-5)
Step 8 – Get Support (coming 11-2)
Step 9 – Review & Repeat (coming 12-14)