Specific: Your goal needs to be specific in terms of what you want to accomplish. For example, “I want a great job!” is not specific, but saying “I want a job in customer service in Dallas, TX within the next six months” is definitely specific.
Measurable: Your goals need to be measurable in order for you to know that you’ve accomplished them. For example, using the time frame of six months makes our goal above measurable. You can also make your goal measurable by using amounts like dollars or quantities. Just saying you want “more money” may only get you a dollar, but giving an amount keeps your brain on target for what you really want.
Attainable: Making your goal attainable asks the question “How can I accomplish this goal.” You want to make sure you goal is challenging, but plausible. Creating a goal, which states you want to be vice president of the company in a year when you just graduated from college and are still looking for any type of work, is just not attainable. Therefore, check to make sure your goals can really happen within your present circumstances and time frame.
Relevant: Is your goal relevant to what you are doing in your life? Making sure you create a goal that is relevant to your daily life and long term goals. This helps to keep you motivated. There is no sense having a goal that has you shearing sheep if you don’t even like sheep because the chances of you being motivated to do so are pretty low.
Time Based: Your goal must have a beginning and an end. Creating a goal which states when it will be finished helps to create the added motivation necessary to make the goal real and specific. Remember to put a time frame to every goal. You can also adjust these time frames because as they say “Life Happens.”
The following are some examples of SMART Goals:
“I will make one million dollars within 5 years by starting a investment banking business by helping people between the ages of 30 and 60 invest for their retirement.”
“I will lose 20 lbs by January 15th 2012. I will run 4 days a week and do a half hour of strength training per day 3 times a week. I will not eat any sugar or high fat foods.”
“I will write a book on “How to create SMART Goals” that is at least 240 pages in length and complete it by May 31st 2012. I will write at least 10 pages every weekday until I complete the book.”