SMARTER Goal Setting
Setting goals, whether professional or personal helps us to clarify and take ownership of our dreams. Using the SMARTER approach to goal setting will help align your logic and emotions while providing positive reinforcement to your measurable successes.
S. Specific. Make your goal something that is measurable. For more abstract goals like “being a better parent”, ask yourself what specific aspects of being a better parent are the most important. It might be spending more time together or sitting down for dinner 5 out of 7 nights a week.
M. Meaningful. Focus on goals that are meaningful to you. Making a goal because it is important for someone else will not be as powerful as a goal that you truly believe in.
A. Attainable. How do you make your goal a reality? Who’s help do you need? What habits must be created or broken to reach your goal? How will those habits feel as you get started? How will they change as you progress?
R. Realistic. Set goals that are challenging but realistic and sustainable. Imagine how your life will be different once you have achieved your goal. Imagine yourself pushing past the challenges that stand between you and your goal – what did it feel like and how did you do it?
T. Time-based. Be able to accomplish your goal in one month or less. If your goal is on a far away date, like running a marathon, set a smaller goal that reflects where you want to be in a month.
E. Evaluate. If your goals are measurable, take time to evaluate and reflect on them. Determine what needs to be adjusted in order to reach your goal. You may need to break your goal into smaller pieces or add other small habits to reinforce your goal.
R. Rewards. Have fun and reward yourself for every mini-goal that you accomplish. Your rewards should support your overall goal.
At this point in the program, you should have faced some serious challenges to your goals and maybe even a few failures. Take time to assess your goals using the SMARTER approach. What obstacles have been the most difficult for you, and what small steps can you take to alleviate these hurdles?