Want to master the art of S.M.A.R.T goals? Don’t know what S.M.A.R.T goals are, or you just don’t know how to start? Never fear, The Paradox is here! Cringe. I know. But seriously S.M.A.R.T Goals, once learned, are going to be a key aspect of your life. They break down your bigger goals into smaller, more attainable goals to help you achieve them with lightning precision.
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Intro To S.M.A.R.T Goals
S.M.A.R.T Goals are there to help you break down your big goals into, smaller, less threatening goals. S.M.A.R.T Goals simply stands for:
- Time Bound
So what does all that even mean? Let me break it down a little more for you.
Specific-What exactly do you want to achieve?
- With Whom?
- What are the conditions or limitations?
Being as specific as possible with your goal description will yield the best results. S.M.A.R.T Goal setting clarifies the difference between ” I want to have 1,000,000 followers” and ” I want to gain 1,000 Instagram followers per day for the next 3 months by creating amazing, engaging content.”
See how specific that is? That’s a goal we can work with!
Measurable- When? How Much? How Many? How Will I Know Its Done?
Measurable goals are the outcome of your success. It should address questions like: How much? How many? When or How will I know it
Measurable goals are important because it helps you stay motivated and track your progress. You have to break down your goal into measurable elements. Examples:
- Bad Measurable Outcome: I will be famous.
- Good Measurable Outcome: I will be Instagram famous by determining where I can improve in content and engagement by taking the necessary steps and training to gain the relevant experience of social media marketing and content creation in 3 months time.
You see how the good measurable outcome plans out the:
- How many or what? ” …taking the necessary steps and training to gain relevant experience
- How much? (In this example it’s time.) “..in 3 months time.”
- When or how will I Know It’s Done? This one is tricky. If you go back to the Specific goal, she wants to have 1 million followers on Instagram in 3 months. Her measurable goal (to measure success towards that goal) is to take the intended steps and training to gain experience in social media marketing and content creation. Do you see how that works? Specific goals are to outline, measurable goals are the steps you are going to take to get there.
Attainable- How important is your goal?
Attainable goals focus on how important your goals is to you and what you can do to make it achievable. It may require a new mindset or new skills. This goal is supposed to spark motivation and not discourage. Think about how to accomplish your goal and if you have the tools needed. If not, think about ways you can obtain those skills or tools needed.
Her specific goal is to be Instagram famous and to have 1 million followers, but is she willing or does she have enough time to spare to put in the work of becoming an influencer? Editing photos, curating content, branding, marketing, networking, etc? This can take a lot of time. So how will she achieve her goal? Is she willing to put in the time? What changes can she make to her goal to make it more attainable? What skills or tools can she implement to achieve her goals?
These are questions you have to ask yourself and be honest. The only way S.M.A.R.T Goals are going to work for you is if you be honest with yourself and don’t take on more than you can chew.
Relevant- Does it fit?
With a broad vision goal in mind relevant refers to if it fits in with your current lifestyle or brand.
- If you are most active on Twitter, your Instagram following is not going to improve without being extremely active on Instagram. Your goal wouldn’t be relevant if you aren’t going to take the time to expand your social media presence.
- If you’re a mental health blogger, and your goal is to make 1,000 in commission from an affiliate marketer who sells makeup, your goal wouldn’t be relevant because makeup doesn’t speak to your target audience.
Get the gist? Making sure your goal is relevant to you, your brand, your lifestyle makes the difference between reaching your goals or stopping short of success.
Time Bound- When Will You Achieve This Goal?
Anybody can set goals. But when goals lack realistic timing, chances of you achieving your goal
- If her specific goal is to gain 1000 followers per day for the next 3 months, she should outline what should be done within the halfway point. (one and a half months) So in that timeframe, she could say “I want to gain 500k followers and have taken and implemented 5 skills and courses that outline social media marketing and content creation.”
This breaks her timeframe of 3 months into a smaller, halfway goal. Which keeps her motivated, creates a sense of urgency and accountability. You can do this for any timeframe. She could have broken it down into one-month steps to reach her goal in three months and so on.
4 Example Areas Of Life
So what are the 4 example Key Areas of Life? They are the everyday aspects that have an impact on us. The 4 Key Areas I’m using are:
- Quality Of Life
- Health & Fitness
These are 4 of the many aspects that make up our very lives. So it’s important to have S.M.A.R.T Goals for each area. ( There are 12 keys areas in life all together)
S.M.A.R.T Goals: Examples
Quality of Life
Quality of life will make or break everything you do. So how can you go about making sure to have an amazing quality of life right now, as we speak? Set a S.M.A.R.T Goal. Example:
S.M.A.R.T Goal: I Want To Have A Better Life
- Not Good: I want to have a better life
- Good: I want to have a better life by improving its overall quality within 1 year.
- Not Good: I will do so by being better
- Good: I will learn how to have more positive thoughts, how to find motivation when I need it, and how to be financially stable.
- Not Good: I will have a better life by working for it
- Good: I will have a better life by listening to motivating content, surrounding myself with positive people, and taking courses on Skillshare for financial health.
- Not Good: I will be a better person
- Good: I will be a better person overall because I will have surrounded my self with positive energy and have been taught good financial tips that will help me in the future.
- Not Good: I will do it everyday.
- Good: I know my goal of a better quality of life will be continuous, but I plan to make it better than it has been within 1 year.
Health & Fitness
Everybody wants to have the banging summer body that’s the talk of
S.M.A.R.T Goal: I Want To Gain Muscle
- Not Good: I want to gain muscle.
- Good: I want to gain 20 pounds of muscle in 4 months by eating a high protein, low-fat diet and going to the gym 5 times per week because
iwant to win the beachbodycontest. (I’m not a health guru, it’s just an example)
- Not G
ood: I will have a shot at winning the contest.
- Good: I will have a shot at winning the contest by seeking the best personal trainer and training with him 3 times per week and sticking to my diet by grocery shopping for healthy meals once per week. I will supplement the other two days I’m not with my trainer by working out at the gym and taking rest days.
- Not Good: I will save money to pay for gym memberships, personal trainer and food.
- Good: I will set aside $200/month to pay my personal trainer and $50 per week to buy specific groceries and $25 per month for my gym membership. I will do this to add accountability and motivation.
- Not Good: I will gain muscle for the competition
- Good: I will gain not only a possible win from the competition but a dream body that by implementing my measurable and attainable goals, will form a habit and last a lifetime.
- Not Good: I will do this in 3 months
- Good: I will achieve my goal of 20 pounds of muscle mass within 3 months. With weekly goals of 3 pounds of muscle mass gained.
Everyone wants to possess the mental power of Einstein, but where should we start? Well, first you have to understand what exactly you want. Example:
S.M.A.R.T Goal: I Want To Go Back To College
- Not Good: I want to go back to college
- Good: I want to go back to college and obtain a Bachelors Degree in Biology.
- Not Good: I will go apply to schools
- Good: I will apply to Colleges that are in my price range of $15,000/year and who offer a B.A in Biology, I will apply for grants and scholarships.
- Not Good: I will study and do my best
- Good: I will get into a school I like and that fits my budget, upon entry I will find a quality study group that meets once a week,
iwill study 5 days a week, and make sure to ask for help if ifeel like imfalling behind or dontunderstand something.
- Not Good: I will go back to school for me
- Good: Going back to college will help me learn the tricks of the trade to land my dream biology job and solidify my financial future.
- Not Good: I will do this in 4 years
- Good: I will graduate in the 4 years and study abroad for 2 of those 4 years.
To be emotionally stable is a very realistic goal. If you are looking to be more emotional or to be more emotionally stable, S.M.A.R.T Goals are the way to go.
S.M.A.R.T Goal: To Be Emotionally Stable
- Not Good: I want to be emotionally stable.
- Good: I want to be able to control my emotions and live in the moment.
- Not Good: I will work on my emotions
- Good: I will take multiple courses on personal development and emotional wellness. I will grab worksheets, e-courses, and e-books that can help me achieve this goal.
- Not Good: I will work on worksheets to understand my emotions
- Good: I will use e-books, e-courses, worksheets and anything else at my disposal to understand my emotions.
- Not Good: I want to be better
- Good: I will use whats at my disposal to help me not only understand my emotions but to understand and accept me as a human being.
- Not Good: I will work on this for the next 30 days
- Good: I will continue to understand myself and my emotions over the course of my lifetime but will take weekly breaks to analyze my progress, giving myself room to grow.
So there you have it! I hope those examples gave you an idea of what S.M.A.R.T Goals are and how you can tweak them and incorporate them in your everyday life!
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