How SMART Goals can help you achieve Success

Get SMART: Why smart goals are essential for achieving success

If you think you are smart, then you must know how to set SMART goals. So make your goals understandable, quantifiable, believable, purposeful and timely.

Earl Nightingale, an American motivational speaker once spoke about the essential role goals play in achieving success – “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.” Goals in life provide the energy and motivation to succeed with a clear roadmap to follow. They also help prioritize our actions. As per research done on goal setting theory, it is proven that conscious human behaviour looks for purpose in their pursuit. It reasons that motivation is the single most crucial factor for success and this is why people with SMART goals perform better than expected.

To elaboarte, a successful goal must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound. The amount of planning and time deployed in developing meaningful goals decide its future. Zig Ziglar, an American author and motivational speaker could not have described it better when he said, “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

Let us review what SMART goals are and how to set SMART goals for leading a life of success and accomplishment.

What are SMART goals

Being smart often means someone who is clean, tidy and well-dressed, a great first impression. Goals too must be inspiring at the first instance itself. Being smart also means one’s level of intelligence, so successful goals must pass the test of logic and being apt.

Being smart in technical parley means the capability of performing independent action and course correction. SMART goals are nothing but a carefully crafted mixture of all these facets to help create a solid plan for success.

How to set SMART goals

Setting SMART goals is an iterative process wherein we continuously evaluate our goals in response to the 5 elements – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound. These help define our purpose and incite action from us. Clear and challenging goals improve motivation and performance while vague and easier ones do not.

You can develop your own SMART goals by following the guidelines and answering the questions in the right spirit.

  • Be Specific and achieve success by defining exactly what is being pursued.
  • Be Measurable and quantify the goal by finalizing a number to track its completion.
  • Be Attainable and stay assured of the goal’s success by outlining judiciousness of its achievement.
  • Be Realistic and pursue doubt-free execution of the goal’s success after evaluating its do-ability.
  • Be Timely and realize the results of your goal’s success in a time-bound manner, by ascertaining reasonable amount of time for its completion.

The SMART goals setting process must be able to provide a worthy objective for you with a clear overview of your strengths and weaknesses. This will ensure your motivation with a clear goal line to meet and help you to remain focused on the goal to achieve success.

Reach your goal halfway 

SMART goals are essential for achieving success as all the ‘5 elements of accomplishment’ are embedded in the goal itself. Taking an aim or just selecting a goal is not sufficient for success, you need to analyse, test and refine your goals against these 5 elements of accomplishment to come out top in life. These 5 elements help you to focus and re-assess your goals, to prevent you from shooting in the dark yet challenging you enough to get you out of your comfort zone.

Be Specific

For a goal to be achieved, it must be clearly understandable to you. A goal well understood is a potential winner from the start, as you imbibe and wholeheartedly pursue such a target. To enhance its understandability and appeal, a goal must be specific in nature. Whether the goal is personal or professional, it should be nicely articulated so that its understoodd by all parties involved.

To be precise, outline two things – what will be accomplished by the goal and what the associated action plan is to achieve that specific goal.

Always Measurable

Peter F. Drucker, a famous management consultant and author, highlighted the criticality of being measurable. “If you want it, measure it. If you cannot measure it, forget it.” The success of any goal hinges on its measurability, which is why assigning a number to your goal is essential for its success.

A quantifiable goal is important for three reasons: firstly,  it gives a picture of completion, as in you can describe its start and end point. Secondly,  it helps track your performance and lets you celebrate the small steps along the way. Finally, quantifying your goal allows you a course correction, if necessary. It helps you to take a step back, reevaluate or do things a little differently to achieve success.

Realistically Achievable

Motivation helps mobilise energy from within oneself. It increases the level of efforts one puts in, building a sense of commitment and persistence in attaining one’s goals. This is why you need a strong belief to perform betterand with greater resilience. Goals that are within a challenging reach are believable and thus become achievable. Your goals must be realistic in nature to invoke the necessary passion within you yet urge you to outdo your efforts without working mindlessly.

Even audacious goals can be broken down in smaller steps to make them appear believable and ensure their success.

Remember that the achievability of a goal fills you with a strong conviction and assures you a degree of control over its prospects.

Be Relevant

Any goal has a greater chance of success if its aligned to your purpose or vision in life and is important to you. Goals that are crucial for your self-development or for the benefit of the family or society, has a higher probability of accomplishment. This is because it attaches its relevance deeply.

One excellent way to judge the relevance of any goal is to apply the 80-20 rule where 80% of the outcomes are driven by 20% of all the causes. So do not just set any goal, make it count for you.

Always Time-Bound

A par excellence writer, Jonathan Estrin has described the beauty of time in these priceless words, “The way we spend our time defines who we are.” A productive use of our time itself is a magnificent goal for our life. A time-bound goal is a clear metric for success and helps you to stay focused and pursue goals with greater efforts and courage.

Timelines improve communication, help prioritise difficult tasks, course-correct if required and even review, if necessary. Time is of utmost importance so make it count and relish the success of your SMART goals.




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