Set SMART goals in 2012!
by Joanne Darrigo. Graduate Assistant
Looking for a SMART way to set goals? Need an effective way to set and follow through with both small and large goals! When setting goals you must imagine the future. Understand where you are right now and where you would like to be. By following the SMART model you can begin to put your dreams into action.!
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy
SPECIFIC: Be concise with exactly what you are looking to achieve. The more specific your goal the easier it is to attain. You must answer the six “W” questions:
- Who: Who is involved?
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Identify a location.
- When: Establish a time frame.
- Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
- Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
MEASURABLE: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that encourages you on to reach your goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
AGREED UPON: There must be agreement with all the stakeholders on what the goals should be. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them.
REALISTIC: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!
TIME ACTIVATED: A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
- What can I do 6 months from now?
- What can I do 6 weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
It is important to remember that life happens, and when achieving your goal does not go as planned it is not your failures, but how you decide to react to them.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” –Mother Theresa