Little #4: How to Set Better Goals
Make Work Easier
SMART goals are an effective way of benchmarking your goals. Want to set yourself up for success? Set SMART goals!
- S: Specific
- Is the goal specific enough?
- M: Measurable
- Can you measure your progress?
- A: Attainable
- Is the goal possible to achieve?
- R: Relevant
- Should you even be working on this goal right now?
- T: Time-bound
- What is the deadline?
Let’s work through an example together. We’ll look at the following initial goal: Save more money.
This goal can definitely be more specific! My first question is, Save more money for what?
Our updated goal: Save more money for emergencies.
Can we measure this goal? The answer is a resounding no. So, now my question is, How much money should be saved?
Our updated goal: Save $1,000 for emergencies.
This is a test of whether or not we should even be working toward this goal. It’s simply a yes-or-no answer: Can this goal be achieved?
If no, we should stop right now. Either the goal needs to be reworked, or we need to ditch it.
If yes, we can move on to the next step.
In our example, let’s say the answer is yes! Moving on!
I find that this step tends to confuse people. But, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Again, it’s just another yes-or-no answer: Should we even be working on this goal?
The word should is the important factor in this case: Is it the right time to save this money? Can we afford it? Do we need more emergency savings?
If the answer is no, we should stop. Again, rework it or ditch it.
If yes, move on!
In our example, let’s say we have no emergency savings currently, and we can afford to save. So, moving on!
Sometimes this is written as “timely”, but I like “time-bound” better. It better suggests that we should be thinking about a deadline.
So, does our goal have a deadline? Nope, definitely not. Let’s fix that:
Our updated goal: Save $1,000 for emergencies by January 1.
Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
Original goal: Save more money.
Updated goal: Save $1,000 for emergencies by January 1.
Much, much better!
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