We have many goals in our lives, but often we do not know how to achieve or implement them. S.M.A.R.T. formulated goals can help us with this. But what are SMART goals and how do I formulate them? In this article, I will try to explain that.
1. What kind of dreams do we have?
Each of us has dreams but they can be very different. For example, the dreams may be financial, such as a special car, a new house, financial freedom, etc. Another kind of dream can be something like running a marathon, spending more time with family, happiness, contentment, health, etc. Another kind of dream can be something like running a marathon, spending more time with family, happiness, contentment, health, …
“Whatever you can do or dream of doing – go for it. In boldness lies genius, power and magic.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Tim works as a cook and would like to have the latest cell phone from Apple. He would also like to take a motorcycle tour on Route 66 through the USA and would like to have a house in Miami. How can he try to achieve his dreams?
2. Why do we set goals?
Many people spend their lives just living without having goals and dreams. What would be our life if we do not want to develop and achieve anything? Why do we go to work? Why do we live? What is the meaning of life then? I think we can conclude that it makes a lot of sense to have goals. To formulate SMART goals help us to achieve them.
“It’s goals that give our lives meaning.” C.H. Parkhurst
Our aspiration to create something is our drive to move forward in life. Without a goal, task, dream, etc. our life is worth nothing. That is why we need to set small or big goals for ourselves. We need to give meaning to our life and only then we can feel joy, happiness and satisfaction.
3. How should goals be formulated?
Many people have dreams, but do not focus enough to make them come true. In addition, they often do not know what they have to do or can do to realize their dreams. Then resignation sets in and we stop dreaming. If we really want to achieve something, then SMART goals help us.
Let’s look at Tim’s example again. He would like to have a house close to Miami. He is a cook and has a low income. What can he do to get closer to his dream?Maybe he takes a part-time job. Will he be able to make it with that? He could also become self-employed and open a restaurant. This would give him a better chance of realizing his dream.
Here, setting SMART goals can help you focus and use your time and manpower productively.
4. What is a SMART goal and how do you achieve it?
SMART means Specific, Measurable, Activating, Realistic und Time-bound. This goes back to the management researcher and management consultant Peter Drucker and is mainly used in project management in the context of objective setting. However, this method is also excellent for defining personal goals. SMART goals contain all the necessary criteria to focus and thus increases the probability of achieving the set SMART goals.
SMART goals are:
Specific – clearly and unambiguously formulated
Measurable – formulated in such a way that the development is measurable
Activating – appealing and desirable
Realistic – achievable and not set too high
Time-bound – with a clearly defined timeline and fixed start and end date
S – Specific
The goal should be clear and unambiguous so that you can focus on it precisely. To write SMART goals you should ask yourself the following 5 questions:
- What do I want to achieve?
- Why is this objective important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- When do I want to reach the goal?
Using the example of the motorcycle tour trough America, I would like to explain these and the following points. What do I want to achieve? Motorcycle tour on Route 66 – Why is the destination important? A dream since I have a motorcycle license – Who is involved? I want to do this with my best friend. – Where is it located? USA – When do I want to reach the goal? In 2 years
M – Measurable
It is important that you can measure and monitor the progress you have made. This will help you focus on it and motivate you to keep working on it. The closer you get to the SMART goals the easier it will be. You should ask yourself these questions:
- What parameters can be used to measure the target?
- When have I reached the objective?
- Is there a measurement method?
Tim can measure success once he has taken the vacation. Intermediate goals, for example, would be: find a date with a friend, save up enough vacation, put money aside, …
A – Activating
The goal must be motivating and stimulating for you. If you are not enthusiastic about the objective, then you will only work on it with the handbrake on. It will be difficult for you to be ambitious. Ask yourself the following questions to find out if this goal is appealing to you:
- Do I really want that?
- How important is it to me?
- What happens when I reach the goal?
It is very important to Tim to make this tour, because he has already read a lot about it and friends have reported positively. He will be very happy once he drove all the way to the USA.
R – Realistic
A goal should always be formulated in such a way that it is also realistic. If you want to set a new world record in the marathon as a 70-year-old, then that is simply not feasible, because our body can no longer produce such a top performance at this age. But if you say, I would like to run a marathon at the age of 71, then this is realistic. Of course, realistic is always relative. It always depends on your will power and how important it is to you to achieve the goal. With a big commitment, even supposedly unrealistic goals can suddenly become achievable. You can ask yourself the following:
- How important is the objective to you?
- How much time and energy can I devote?
- Is the objective realistic?
- Is the target within reach?
It is very important to Tim to make this trip and therefore he will set everything possible in motion to ride the motorcycle through the USA. It is a realistic goal and with a time horizon of 2 years also within reach.
T – Time-bound
Without defining a timeline for a goal, it is practically impossible to monitor progress and also not very motivating to start the project. That is why it is important to set a start and an end date.
- When can I get started? – Best immediately
- When do I want to have reached the goal?
The preparations can be started immediately. Informing family, contacting friends, putting money aside, … Tim then wants to fly on vacation in 2 years.
5. What helps you achieve the SMART goals?
- Write down your goals – first in general terms and then as SMART goals. I like to work with pen and paper.
- Formulate the objective in the first person. This is very important, because it establishes a personal connection with the goal.
- Make your goal tangible and visualize it. Read the article on how to create a vision board.
- Start today to define all your objectives according to this method. Whether it’s writing a book or running a marathon.
- Break down your goals into intermediate goals – again, SMART goals.
“The great masterpiece of life is to achieve goals and consciously experience the present.” – Jörg Löhr
The SMART goals method is a very powerful tool to achieve dreams. It helps them stay focused, motivated and make progress measurable. SMART means Specific, Measurable, Activating, Realistic und Time-bound. There are also other interpretations such as Wikipedia.
By using SMART goals, you can define your desire in a way that makes them clearer and more achievable. This will give you more motivation and a plan at hand that you need to achieve SMART goals. You should definitely educate yourself financially, because most of the time you need money to gain something.
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