Life is so busy. There are so many things you want to do, but only 24 hours a day. If you find yourself running out of hours at the end of each day with piles of unfinished tasks left to do, goal setting is an effective tool to help you prioritize and reorganize your life.
Goal setting is something that seems easy to do, but unless it is done in an intentional, structured way, tasks can easily slip by and be left unaccomplished. Whether you set goals for each day, or each year, systematic goal setting can help you do more with your time.
A great method for setting goals is to make SMART goals. The SMART system provides a great checklist to make sure you can stay accountable and set yourself up for success.
To set SMART goals, one must ensure their goals are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time sensitive
You need to be able to specifically state what it is that you want to accomplish. The more detailed you can be, the better. For example, “I will eat 9 servings of veggies a day” is better than “I want to eat more veggies”. Pick something detailed enough that it is clear when you’ve accomplished the goal.
Another element that your goal needs to have is that it needs to be measureable. This is an important step in order to stay motivated to complete your goal. You need to be able to measure your progress and how close you are to completing your goal. To make sure your goal is measurable, make sure your progress can be monitored and that there is a way to evaluate how close you are to accomplishing your goal. To go back to the veggie example, if you say “I will eat 9 servings of veggies a day”, you can easily measure how close you are to reaching your daily goal by counting the servings of veggies you’ve eaten. However, if you say, “I want to eat more veggies”, how do you know when you’ve reached your goal? The vagueness makes it impossible to measure in a meaningful way.
An attainable goal is one that you know you can accomplish. When you’re setting goals you need to ask yourself whether the goal is something you can accomplish. Is accomplishing this goal a probable outcome? How likely is it? In order to set a goal you will actually accomplish, it needs to be something you can actually do.
By giving yourself a deadline to accomplish this goal, you can ensure you stay motivated and accountable. It will also help you to prioritize each goal you set based on how urgent the timeline.
What goal have you been reaching towards? Did making it a SMART goal help?