Setting Goals 101

January is a good month to consider our goals for this year.  What do we want to accomplish this month, six months from now, or even this year?  Is your goal a good goal?  Is the goal a SMART goal?  You may be asking what does she mean by SMART.  Hold that thought for a moment…

I used to teach introductory college course for University of Phoenix.  One of the topics covered is setting goals, which leads to discussing the importance of goals.  Goals are important for several reasons:

  • Goals help you focus.
  • Goals help you be organized.
  • Goals help you manage your time effectively.
  • Goals help you have a sense of purpose.
  • Goals help you have a plan.
Now, back to SMART Goals.  A SMART Goal is not a new term.  Most have heard of SMART Goals, so this is just a refresher.  A good goal will meet the following criteria:
Specific – What do you plan to accomplish?  A specific goal should answer all appropriate questions:  who, what, when, where, which and why.  For example, a general goal is:  I will go to college.  A specific goal is:  I will take one five-week college accounting course beginning in February 2014.
Measurable – How will you measure your progress?  How will you know when you have reached your goal?
Attainable – What will be needed to accomplish this goal?  In order to reach the goal, do I need a new skill, finances, or even a different attitude.
Realistic – Have I set a goal that is reachable and challenging?  We don’t want to set a goal that is not reachable.  Setting unreachable goals leads to disappointment and failure.  For example:  I will win the Mega Million lottery this year.  Seriously?!
Timely – There should be a time limit on the goal.  Setting a time limit keeps us honest and provides the sense of urgency we need to accomplish our goals.
I challenge you to develop one SMART Goal and share with me your goal.  We can do whatever we set our minds to do.  We just need to establish SMART Goals.  One of my goals for this year was to start blogging in January.  Let’s hold each other accountable and provide encouragement along the way to reach our goals.  No more saying what we are going to do.  Let’s do it!

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