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Are you smart about goal setting? Like, for real, are you following a SMART goals template, or do you just throw out an idea to the universe and hope it sticks? Personally, I have done it both ways and I’ll let you in on a secret. Ready? Shhh… Read along to find out the secret or if you already know what the heck the secret is, grab your template here.
Why a SMART goals template works
Y’all, throwing an idea out into the universe without a plan or a framework of some kind is the easiest way to not achieve those goals. Let’s break it down why and then I will share an idea of how to do it successfully. Well, at least set yourself up to be successful if you do the work. Yep, I said work. 😉
Why the working without SMART goals just isn’t smart
So, I am assuming you got here because you googled SMART goals template (snag it here) but we all know what happens when you assume so I will go ahead and tell you what the heck SMART actually stands for:
So, from those five words you can see what just saying “my goal is to read more” really isn’t a going to be an amazing goal. By reading that last sentence you already achieved your goal, kind of anti-climatic, right? Or maybe you have said “this year, I am going to get healthy” as a goal shouted to the universe or mumbled after walking up a flight of stairs. Is that setting yourself up to achieve it? Nope! You have no plan, no benchmark, no way to really know if you actually achieved anything.
So let’s delve into what the heck each letter really means, that way we can get ready, set, go towards achieving those goals!
Let’s get SMART
So in order to achieve a goal you have to get very nitty-gritty about what you are actually wanting to achieve. The example I am going to use is the “I am going to read more this year” goal from above. You will need to start off by really drilling down the who/what/when/where/why of your goal.
Are you reading for pleasure? To gain knowledge? Do you already read but want to increase the frequency? Or is the last thing you read the back of the microwave dinner. Get very specific about it, such as “I want to read non-fiction books about inspiring women so that I can empower myself and my daughter.” That has some heft to it, right?
Next in our SMART goals template is measurable. What quantifiable benchmark do you want to reach to be the indicator you are working towards reaching the goal?
Incorporating a number will help you to set benchmarks along the way so that you can gauge your success and know when you need to potentially play catch-up. In our book example, it can even be as simple as saying you will read one non-fiction book a month about an inspiring woman. You can easily keep track of your progress with a defined and measurable goal.
Is this goal pushing you a bit out of your comfort zone or current area you are at? Is it something you truly can about and can consistently work toward? Goals need to help you grow in some way so making sure that this goal will help you do that and is pushing you a bit hard is a good thing. However, that leads us to the next letter in the SMART goal template…
Let’s be real with ourselves, alright? Can you actually achieve this goal? Do you have the time to do it? Do you have the desire to do it? Are the goal-setting gods agreeable to it? Is it something that is realistically within your control or personal capacity?
For our example is reading a book in a month that you can actually dedicate the time and energy to do it without fail. If you are already getting up at 4:00 am to workout, make everyone’s breakfast, go off to work, and do five million other things do you have the bandwidth to read a book? So, keep it real, y’all!
How long are you going to work towards this goal? Rachel Hollis, from Girl, Stop Apologizing, and I strongly disagree about this last item. With all due respect, you need to have a defined timeline to finish by for goal setting. Are you a failure if you don’t hit it? No, nobody is perfect it is all about progress! Think more Marie Forleo than Rachel Hollis here, mkay, y’all. Channel your inner Dory and just keep swimming!
Example of a SMART goal
So let’s pull together our goal for this example:
I will read one book about an inspiring female to share with my daughter to help empower her each month for the next twelve months. I will do this by setting aside 30 minutes to read each night for four out of seven nights a week.
That’s a wrap!
If you haven’t already done it, you may want to check out my post on a personal SWOT analysis since it’ll help you to figure out what kinds of goals you may want to set for yourself. Also, SMART goals aren’t just for personal goals, they are great for your business, too! Check out Joni’s SMART goals post to boost your business!
Already have some ideas and want to refine your goals or be held accountable? Then head over to The Inspiring Llama to take part in our SMART goals conversation.
Also, don’t forget to snag your SMART goals template here. Drop me a line or comment below with the goals you have set or if you need help.