Abundant Mind

Setting Goals | Master The Skill of Setting SMART Goals!

by Howard Platt

on December 11, 2010

in Goals and Achievement

Setting Goals  must be your first step in your plan of action to achieve lifelong personal success. Although when I refer to setting goals I am really talking about setting SMART goals.

What is a SMART Goal you might ask?

A SMART goal is a laser focused action plan that will propel you toward the achievement of a clearly defined goal or set or set of goals faster than anything you have ever tried in the past.

SMART Being An Acronym For Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic And Timed.

  • S = Specific

Your goals should be very specific right down to every last detail, a vague goal will not trigger your subconscious into action. If you set your goal as “I want to achieve more success in 2009,” that is much to vague.

Success can hold many different meanings for different people. Success for one person may be obtaining a promotion at work and for someone else it may be graduating from college.

  • M = Measurable

Your goals have to be measurable such as “I want to have a new business of my own up and running within 6 months.” Or if it is money related you need to be specific with the amount such as “I want to be earning $100,000 by September of this year.”

  • A = Actionable or Attributable

Setting a goal that is actionable means that you have to take some type of action to determine the outcome of reaching your goal. Setting goals that are not actionable is a waste of time.

You need to have control over the outcome of the goal, such as if your goal was to be earning $100,000 by September of this year you are going to have to accomplish more on the job in order to deserve the raise in pay.

  • R = Realistic

When setting goals you need to be realistic. You cannot set a goal to be a major league pitcher if you have no baseball skills. However if your handy and capable of doing construction your goal might be to build a deck around your swimming pool by June of this year.

  • T = Timed

A well thought out goal must include a timescale and must not be open ended. Such as in the previous example of having a deck built around the swimming pool by June 1st of this year.

A Simple Example of Setting Goals or Rather Setting SMART Goals!

Setting GoalsThe previous goal of having the deck built is (S) specific because it states precisely what is to be accomplished and that is building a deck around the swimming pool.

The goal is also (M) measurable as you will clearly see the end result based upon how it was stated.

It’s (A) actionable because you would have to physically take action to build the deck.

I would say that the goal is definitely (R) realistic providing you have the skills to accomplish the job.

And finally the goal is (T) timed because there is a date of completion attached to the goal as it was stated that the job would be completed by June of this year.

When you are setting goals for yourself resort back to the acronym SMART so you can easily remember all the attributes of setting goals that will lead to the success you desire.

We all must have a purpose in life, for some that purpose is more obvious and deliberate than it is for others. Jumping from one major purpose to another creates confusion in ones life and a real lack of direction.

I believe the reason that so many of us fall short of achieving our dreams is because we leave them as just that, “Dreams.”

To turn your dreams in reality you must stop thinking of them as just dreams. The problem with dreams is that they are very seldom acted upon.

Many of us set out with good intentions but without a plan of action they soon fizzle out.

This is evident in the act that so many of us take part in each and every year on the 1st of January. The day of the announced new beginning for so many in the form of a stated resolution.

On the 1st of January every year people all over the world set resolutions.

It seems to be a common trait among people that compels them to start a new year with a list of things they want to achieve.

It might be anything from losing weight to finding a new job, buying a car, studying more diligently or having a more optimistic outlook on life.

At first glance it would appear that resolutions are not really goals, but loosely defined objectives or plans, such as to get a new job, be a better parent or the most popular of them all – Lose Weight.

However, all resolutions can, with a little thought be reworded and redefined as SMART goals. Setting goals is the key to turning your dreams into your reality of course that is if you take action.

Just think what you could achieve if you sat down with your stated resolutions and rewrote them in the form of a SMART goal.

Now you would have an actionable plan to follow, something that you can commit yourself to and if you followed through with consistency and a sense of purpose just imagine what you could accomplish.

Within You Is The Power!

If you took those five words and lived your life with such strong conviction you would be unstoppable!

A Proven Plan For Setting Goals And Achieving The Goals You Set!

I have read a lot of books about setting goals and hundreds of articles and just as a lot of the motivational material one might read you are most excited immediately afterwards. However in many cases that excitement tends to fade away as fast as it came.

Although there are a few audio programs that I listen to on a weekly basis as they help to keep me focused on the attainment of my goals and one of the best is:

“The Ultimate Goals Program” This Teaches Everything You Need For Setting Goals And Achieving The Goals You Set!

I don’t think you could find a more complete goal setting program.

Setting GoalsThe Ultimate Goals Program is not only thorough it is extremely captivating which means you will never get bored and you are sure to learn something new with each time you listen to it.

Setting goals for your life is one of the most positive actions one can take and with the help and guidance you will receive from “The Ultimate Goals Program” you really could change your life in ways you have only dreamed of.

Learn How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible through a simple, proven step-by-step system that you can use immediately to achieve anything you really want in life.

The Ultimate Goal Setting Program is the most complete and effective system for setting goals and achieving your goals.

This power is within all of us, we just have to believe in it and draw upon it all the days of our lives.

This is precisely why we all must be setting goals that really challenge us, goals that make us draw upon the power inside.

We all make a choice on how we live our lives, you should never choose to settle for less than you can imagine within your mind.

Dream big dreams, share your dreams with others as this will help to strengthen your commitment, believe in yourself and act upon that belief.

Use the power of your subconscious mind to drive your dreams or your goals deep into the recesses of your mind so that they will be forever present just waiting to be acted upon.

Visualize every goal that you have, visualize them with such intensity that you can see, feel, hear, smell and taste the success.

Everyday use affirmations to bring your dreams and goals to life. Never let your goals go stagnant.

Live by your own set of virtues, put it in writing that which is important to you, the character of yourself that gives you a sense of pride.

Setting goals will keep your life on track. If we look back in history at Benjamin Franklin’s life you can see that he set the standard at that time for setting goals only he called them his virtues.

Early in his life he came up with a list of virtues as he called them, that he wanted to live his life by.

These virtues that he had written down and chose to live his life by were more or less goals that he had set. Let’s just take a look at his first three virtues.

  • Temperance – Eat not to Dullness. Drink not to Elevation.

Specific (to be temperate), Measurable (don’t eat until you become dull or drink until you feel elevated), Actionable (it was completely within Benjamin Franklin’s control), Realistic (he felt so) and we will come onto the timed aspect in a moment.

  • Silence – Speak not but what might benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.

Specific (to be more silent), Measurable (only speak if it is going to benefit you or others and don’t get involved in trifling conversation), Actionable (he felt so), Realistic (no reason why not) and again we will come onto time in a moment.

  • Order – Let all your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time.

Specific (order), Measurable (everything has a place or time), Actionable (no reason why not), Realistic (yes) and we will look at time below.
By carefully defining each virtue Franklin made it specific and measurable.

It can be difficult to measure something such as temperance, but by saying

“Eat not to dullness, Drink not to Elevation”
he set an upper limit that could be measured.

If he became dull through eating or elevated through drinking then he had not met his goal – plain and simple.

You might have noticed that none of the above include a time scale. There is a reason for that. Franklin believed that his list of virtues should be constantly at the forefront of his thinking and so every one of his virtues was a daily goal.

So For Example The Second Virtue Could Be Reworded As:
For the next 24 hours I will not speak unless it benefits others or myself and I will not spend time in trifling conversation.

Each of his goals was logged on a simple chart in a small book he carried with him. If he managed to get through the day without breaking a goal (or virtue) he congratulated himself and if he failed he made a mark next to that particular goal so that he would know to double his efforts on it over the coming days.

In The Long Run, You Only Accomplish What You Strive For!

When Setting Goals Ask Yourself What Goals Do I Really Need!

Setting GoalsTo have a well balanced life you need to have well balanced goals. If all your goals are business related you need to be asking yourself whether your home life will suffer.

Likewise, if your list of goals is made up of nothing but family and social objectives your chances of business or work related success might be lowered.

Setting goals and maintaining a healthy balance requires considerable thought as what constitutes balance will vary massively not just from person to person, but also for the same person during different stages of their life.

If you have a young family the chances are that many of your goals will relate to your family life and other areas may take a back seat during this important phase in your life.

In this case having balanced goals may mean that you have five family related goals and only one goal in each of the other major categories.

Similarly, if you are in the process of starting a business you are likely to find that many of your goals revolve around business related issues.

This does not mean your setting goals that are not balanced, it just means that what’s important at that stage in your life is different then at other stages and you have recognized this and reflected it in your list of goals.

However, even though you might find that one category of goals usually dominates the list at any one time, it is always healthy to have at least one goal in each of the main areas.

Becoming overly obsessed with just one area of your life such as your job or profession could very easily become detrimental to the other areas of your life such as your family or your health.

Setting Goals or Defining Your Personal Set of Virtues Becomes Your Road-map To Success!

When Setting Goals There Are Many Ways You Could Categorize Them.

I have found the following seven categories to be particularly effective.

  • Home – Including your immediate family, your relatives, and hobbies and interests.
  • Social – Everyone from close friends through to clubs and societies your involved with.
  • Business – Either your own business interests or your job.
  • Financial – Investments, savings, pensions, loans, etc.
  • Community – Residents committees, school governing bodies, local politics, etc.
  • Charity – From donating money through to donating time and skills.
  • Health – Overall health, fitness, diet, etc.

Setting goals for your life should be taken seriously as they really do set the stage for all your personal a n d professional achievements.

When you lack goals in your life you lack direction. Take the time to think about your life and the direction you wish it to take, write down your dreams, your passions and your aspirations.

Use this information to form a set of goals that defines your wants and desires and then put your plan into action. You will find that when you have a clearly defined path to follow achieving your greatest dreams and desires will feel much more realistic.

When setting goals write them down and review them often, you will find that as you accomplish some of your goals they will soon be replaced by others.

You should always be challenging yourself and never settle for second best.

Make The Most Out of Your Life, It Is All Up To You!

Setting Goals for your life is the first step towards achieving exceptional personal success!

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Hi, my name is Howard G. Platt 111 and my site Positive Thinking For Personal Development is my passion! About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with a rare and incurable medical disorder which challenges me everyday of my life. Positive Thinking gives me the strength to persevere. I try to use my story to inspire and help others to live up to their full potential in life. I know that my calling in life is to serve others and to help those in need. God Bless!


Howard has written 88 articles on Positive-Thinking-For-You.com


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