The Science Of SMART Goal Setting

2018 goals concepts with hand writing on notepaper

It is the beginning of the new year! This is the time to reflect on what has passed and hone in on what we want to achieve now that we have a “fresh start.” Goal setting is an effective way to ensure you are on the right path to accomplishing your short-term and long-term aspirations. The SMART goal setting technique is a powerful tool that allows you to set goals with confidence and success. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound goals create a clear picture and keep you motivated all the way to completion.

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, just in case you need a better breakdown, we went a little more in depth on each step to clarify what that looks like from a goal setting perspective. Happy goal setting!

  1. Specific

The first step to successful goal setting is ensuring your goals are straightforward and clear. Specifics allow us to keep our focus and envision the steps necessary to move forward in the right direction. When in this step, ask yourself what, why, and how. What are you going to do? Why is it important to do at this time? How are you going to accomplish it? Asking yourself these questions will help define precisely where you want to end up.

  1. Measurable

Devising goals that are measurable allows you to manage your goals and keep tabs on your progression. You will want to establish concrete criteria like precise amounts, dates, and times. In the long term, when your goal is measureable, you are able to stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the excitement of achievement.

  1. Attainable

It is important that you set goals within the realm of your capabilities. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you will stay motivated and grounded without the risk of non-achievement. Goals should push you but not dishearten you.

  1. Relevant/Realistic

Keep goals aligned with what is relevant to the direction you want to take and associate with your personal life priorities. This will allow you control over where you are headed. Inconsistent and widely scattered goals distract your focus from what you are ultimately trying to accomplish. Goals need to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment which allows you to concentrate your efforts and help quickly identify any distractions leading you astray.

  1. Time Bound

Goals must have a deadline. When there is a timeframe, your sense of urgency increases and you will know when you can celebrate a successful completion of a goal. Remember, time must be measurable, attainable, and realistic. This encourages you to start now versus waiting and feeling like you can start whenever.

We hope this SMART guide has provided a little helpful encouragement for you to start setting attainable goals for yourself this year! We can’t wait to see your progress!

References:

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_90.htm

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/10-guidelines-for-effective-goal-setting/

https://www.mindtools.com/page6.html

http://www.region15.org/filestorage/158/160/1460/1670/1686/goalsetting_guidelines.pdf

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