Have you set your resolutions for 2018 yet?
How many years in a row have you recycled those same goals?
What is it that’s holding you back?
It’s easy to say, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get out of debt” and we know in our minds how to accomplish it. “I will lose weight by eating healthy and exercising.” “I will pay off my credit card bills.”
Okay, but how are you going to do that?
The most important part of goal-setting is to create an actionable plan. You have to make sure your goal is realistic, measurable and can be completed within a practical time frame.
So how do you do that?
During my freshman year of college, we learned about SMART goals to help us with our goal-setting for the year. I remember that mine was to maintain a certain GPA. Six years later, that model has still stuck with me. Why? Because it works. It puts your goals into focus so you can create an actionable plan.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.
This part of the model helps you to focus your efforts; to really get down to the nitty gritty details of your goal. You should be able to answer the following questions:
What is it that I want to accomplish?
What makes this goal important to me?
This part is a culmination of all of the steps listed below, so sometimes it is easier to do this step last.
You need to be able to track your goal with short-term deadlines. Make yourself an outline of each step you need to take, then set yourself a deadline to complete each step until you reach your goal. Also consider: how do you know when your goal is complete?
Your goal should be realistic within your time frame. Don’t expect to lose 50 pounds in one month – it’s just not feasible! For this step, focus on how you will achieve your goal. If you know the exact steps to take, and know that you can realistically finish each step, you’re on track!
It is important to make sure that your goal is actually important to you. Is it worth your time? If it isn’t, you probably will not have the motivation to accomplish it!
Set yourself a practical deadline to complete your goal. This goes along with the measurable section, but this is your final deadline.
The best part of this model is that it can be applied to any aspect of your life: your career, your education, your relationships, and your blog! You can even implement a SMART goal for something as simple as organizing your kitchen. It’s probably not something you need to reflect on for 30 minutes, but taking a minute to consider how to make that goal measurable with mini goals and deadlines can set you up to finally get that kitchen organized! (“I will organize my pots and pans tonight.” “I will clear out that junk drawer tomorrow.”) Considering why you chose that goal might also give you that little boost of inspiration you need to finally get it done!
Seems pretty simple, right? (And I think it’s kind of fun, too!)
One of my biggest goals for 2018 is to grow my blog. I am taking these last few days of 2017 to get myself organized so that I have an actionable plan to accomplish everything I want in the coming year!
What about you? What is your big goal for 2018? Do you like the idea of setting SMART goals? Let me know in the comments!