5 Golden Rules of Setting Goals

Do you set goals, or do you just fumble through life and hope that success will come looking for you? Setting SMART goals allows you to concentrate on your efforts, make better use of your time and money, and improve your chances of achieving your objectives. To ensure that your objectives are straightforward and attainable, each one should be:

Specific

You won’t be able to concentrate your attention or feel genuinely inspired to achieve your goal unless it is straightforward and precise. Try to answer the following five “W” questions as you write your goal:

What exactly am I aiming for?

What is the significance of this goal?

Who’s on the hook?

What is its location? 

What resources or constraints are present

Measurable

Measurable goals help you keep track of your success and remain motivated. This makes you stay focused, meet deadlines, and enjoy the thrill of moving closer to your target. A measurable target should answer questions like:

How much? And how long?

How many are there in total?

How would I know when it’s done?

Achievable

To be successful, your target must also be practical and attainable. To put it another way, it should be able push your skill while still being achievable. An attainable target will typically provide answers to questions like:

How can I achieve this goal?

How feasible is the goal based on limitations like financial constrains?

Relevant

Ensure that your goal is important to you and that it is aligned with other important goals in your life. A relevant goal should agree with the following questions:

Is this something I am interested in?

Is it the appropriate time?

Is this in line with my other goals and requirements?

Am I the best person for the goal?

Is it important in today’s socio-economic situation?

Time Bound

A target date is needed for any goal so that you have a deadline to work against. Having a deadline prevents your daily activities from taking precedence over your long-term objectives.

These questions should be answered by a time-bound goal:

When is it going to happen?

What will I be able to do in a year?

What will I be able to do in five months?

What am I able to do today?

Overall, SMART is a useful tool that helps you accomplish your objectives by providing clarification, concentration, and encouragement. It also helps you achieve them by motivating you to set goals and deadlines. Some people argue that SMART is ineffective for long-term objectives due to its lack of versatility, while others argue that it stifles innovation. Try using SMART to set your goals and you might realize that the real reason you have not met your objectives is that your plans were too fuzzy or impractical. Consider changing your vision and recast it as a SMART plan so that you can achieve your goal.

Lastly, remember to have an accountability partner to help you maintain the momentum. Make sure to pick a supportive person.

Have you set your goals for the year yet? It is not too late, set SMART goals and conquer each of them.

Written By: Shalom Musyoka, Cohort 8.

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