SMART Goals: The Groundwork for Greatness
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field without and never without ever reaching the destination.” BILL COPELAND
Setting a goal is the first and the most important step towards achieving a goal. It is like buying a flight ticket or packing your bag for the journey. Without them, you’ll never leave the airport towards your goal. With smart goals you will fly and discover how different things are.
“Everything in this world is created twice: First – creation in your mind. Followed by the manifestation in reality. Without the mental creation, there will be no physical creation. By setting a goal, you have already accomplished the first creation. You have set into motion a decree for yourself and the forces of your universe to materialize the goal in the physical reality.” CELESTINE CHUA
Smart Goals are a focal point of your attention and determination
If you don’t have goals, you’re forever stuck in repeating the same default set of actions that keep you feeling safe and comfortable every day. Nothing has ever been achieved by staying within one’s comfort zone. Only when you step out of it the best things will happen.
In his talk, Stephen Duneier explains that what truly defines him aren’t titles, but an approach to decision making that transformed him from someone who struggled with simple tasks to a guy who is continuously achieving even his most ambitious dreams.
Become the Best Version of Yourself
Smart Goals improve you into the best version of yourself in two ways: First -your new-found knowledge and abilities let you experience more out of the same life events compared to the previous you. Think about how your worldview is different now from the worldview 10 years ago. Do you see life with much more clarity, depth and perspective today than you did in the past. What may have been a simple daily occurrence in the past holds a lot more meaning to the more highly evolved you today.
Second, time passes in our life, whether we want it or not. Goals with specific outlines and deadlines ensure we are maximizing our output and experiences during our time here. If you have already discovered your life purpose, your goals will ensure you get the best out of your purpose.
Set your goals and you are set on the path to success
Goals are often shifty. Nebulous. Indistinct. We grasp at some vague idea of what we’d like to do, or we settle on some big, ever ballooning vision. We say, “My goal is to exercise more” or “my goal is to increase profits by 50%” and assume that’s enough. It’s not.
“Don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many people are simply busy being busy.” ROBIN SHARMA
A way around this common, crippling mistake is to construct targets that are entirely defined. The SMART goals approach encompasses five criteria that, when taken together, ensure goals that are meaningful and doable. It’s a five-point checklist for goals that will make you more productive.
Let’s break down the acronym.
Specific Be clear about what, exactly, you need to achieve. Vague phrases don’t help. What concrete, deliverable end product will you have once you achieve this goal?
Measurable Create clear parameters for what constitutes success, and what counts as progress along the way. How will you know exactly when you achieve this goal? How will you track your progress?
Action-Oriented Describe your goal using verbs—action words. Much like to-do lists should specify each task with a verb, your goals should make it explicitly clear what you’re supposed to do.
Realistic Don’t bullshit yourself. If your ambitions are too big, you’ll never achieve your goal, which will only demoralize you. Instead of biting off more than you can chew, try to think of potential pitfalls and obstacles that might plague your way. Account for them when setting your goal, which means that you should either downsize what you aim to do or give yourself more time to do it.
Time-Bound Decide exactly when you’ll start working toward this goal, and exactly when you plan to achieve it. To do even better, schedule out all the time you need to spend to reach the goal. Being mindful of time—bringing that time-management perspective to goal setting—is key to productivity.
If each and every goal you set follows this method, you’ll be well on your way toward achieving them, thus seizing control of your productivity.