Read on and watch the video to learn how to set SMART goals (S.M.A.R.T.) so that you work smarter (with more significant impact) instead of harder (with little to show for it).
There are so many things we desire in this life, and there are two ways to think about realizing those desires:
1. Eliminate the obstacles.
Obstacles to S.M.A.R.T. goals can take many forms. They can be challenges, things you have to accomplish first, something that you have to learn or problem-solve, or your self-doubt that gets in the way of what you want to achieve. Recognizing the obstacles in the way of your goals will assist you in getting rid of them, including knowing who might be able to help you and what resources you might need.
The human mind loves to figure things out, which is why life is often said to be a journey, not a destination. Humans love the journey. Navigating obstacles and challenges charge up our minds, helping us feel alive! So lean into the getting-to-your-goal. That is where relationships, purposes, and interests are invigorated. Achieving your goal or not matters less when you are conscious about your actions because you alter course when you need to, thus changing the goal to something that fits better into the SMART framework.
Self-doubt is usually one of the biggest obstacles in setting and achieving goals. You don’t deserve it. Get rid of it. Worrying about failing often stops people from trying, ensuring the failure they had been afraid of. Here is a video on having a Growth Mindset to help stave off doubt.
2. Use intentions, expectations, and attention to create action toward goals.
Visualizing and intending alone doesn’t bring you what you desire. You also need to expect to succeed to deem actions toward that success worth your effort. Then, you need to commit to those actions. If you want something done, make space in your schedule to make it happen. Remember that you don’t have to set SMART goals or go for them alone! Always consider where, when, and from who you can ask for help.
Always remember the why of you are doing what you are doing. (It is covered in the R of the SMART framework.) The why tells the story of what and why something is important to you. The more precious it is to you, the easier it is to be and stay motivated. If you are having trouble with motivation, you keep going to revisit the why to boost yourself back up.
The S.M.A.R.T. Goal Framework
When you use the SMART Goal framework, you create goals that work for you. You consciously plan your priorities so that you accomplish what you want. Setting SMART goals helps you discern what will be the most impactful actions to take, eliminating wasteful busy work that doesn’t move the needle for you. That way, you increase the likelihood of attainment. When you feel productive and successful, you feel better about yourself; thus, your confidence, energy, and mood improve. Watch the video to learn the framework.
5 Steps to Setting SMART Goals
S is for Specific
General goals don’t get done because they are hard to define. You may work towards them, but you rarely get a sense of accomplishment to sustain yourself. It is easy to get burnout on general goals or second guess yourself about them. Specific goals are action-orientated. They are clear and easy to do because you know you are doing it and feel good about it.
M is for Measurable
Make sure you KNOW when you are achieving your goal. Clarify in the writing of the SMART goal how it will look when it is done; this will also help motivate you.
A is for Achievable
Enough with too high expectations that are killing you because they are impossible to meet and make you feel bad. Set achievable goals. Ones that push your edge because you need to make an effort, but that you can do. One hot tip is to break down big jobs into smaller ones so that you can celebrate your accomplishment at each stage.
If you find yourself working towards something that is not going well, you can research how to get over an obstacle or adjust the goal to be doable.
R is for Relevant
It has to be important to you or essential to the bigger picture. We have to do many things that we don’t want to do because we want the outcome of doing it—remembering the why is essential to stay the course, especially for a more challenging and time-consuming goal.
T is for Timely
While having a time limit also helps the goal be measurable, it is more than that. It creates urgency by giving you a deadline. Humans get a lot more done with a deadline that without one!
Extra Tips from High-Performing Goal Setters
Write your goals down. They are more likely to be realized because recording it keeps you accountable and invites you to be a witness to yourself.
Create a “Stop-doing List.” Eliminate the things in your day that you don’t need to do. This exercise is the best thing I have ever done for myself!
Celebrate your wins. Whatever you do, take a pregnant pause and acknowledge yourself for it. For big accomplishments, plan a family celebration (even if that simply means lighting a candle during dinner to honor the moment).
Offer your projects to the Earth and the Cosmos. Set your goals relevant to the greater good of the Earth and all sentient beings. Ask for permission from Spirit or your ancestors if it is integrious, kind, and necessary. Also, then the energy of the Universe behind what you are doing!