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The SMART way of achieving your goals Cheat Sheet by

Introd­uction

Goal setting is a powerful way for thinking about your ideal future and for motivating yourself to turn your vision into reality. It is also a vital element in the process of problem solving and decision making.

An effective goal settin­g-tool is the SMART criteria. SMART goals are Specific, Measur­able, Attain­able, Realistic, and Timely.

Specific

Goals should be straig­htf­orward and clearly defined in order to focus your efforts on what you want to happen. A specific goal has a greater chance of being realized than a general one.
The following six “W” questi­ons help you define your goal:
Who: Who is involved?
What: What do I want to accomp­lish?
Where: Identify a location.
When: Establish a time frame.
Which or How: Identify requir­ements and constr­aints.
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomp­lishing the goal.

Attainable

Think big, but don’t set a goal that is too big. To determine whether your goal is attain­able, ask yourself honestly if you have all the resources available, such as time, budget, and support, to make it happen.
Useful questions are:
Do I have or will I be able to obtain all the support, equipment, knowledge and resources needed to put my goal into action?
Does this goal fall in line with other priorities in life? If not, how can I revise my goal to make it more achiev­able?
 

Smart Goal Setting

Realistic

To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work, thus, a substa­ntial progress. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide how high your goal should be. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achiev­ement! A high goal is often easier to reach than a low one, because a low goal exerts low motiva­tional force, sending the message that you aren’t very capable. However, if it’s too difficult you set the stage for failure.

Timely - Set a Timeframe

A goal should be grounded within a time frame. Set a timeframe for the goal: for next week, in three months, by May 1st. “Someday” is not a helpful answer, since without time frame the sense of urgency is lacking. If commitment is too vague, it tends not to happen, because you feel you can start at any time.

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