How to Set Personal SMART Goals To Succeed

By Diana Beyer

May 17, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


You might have already heard about personal SMART goals. This mnemonic acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-sensitive (with some variations being used), and is considered to be based on Peter Drucker’s management by objectives. Drucker defended that a company can only achieve its goals if their objectives are clear and possible to be monitored.

Despite the fact that this method has been first published in 1981 by George T. Doran, many companies have yet to come to understand how to put it into practice. But it isn’t only companies which can improve themselves with it. SMART can also be used to set personal goals in a way that will keep us motivated and able to find out how much time, money and energy should be applied on each one of our goals.

Your goals must be based on baby steps (and why happiness isn’t a goal)

The biggest problem here is that most of the people have no idea of what they want of their lives. They say that they want to be happy but can’t define what happiness is. But, more than that, it is important to understand that an abstract concept or state of mind can’t be considered as a goal.

So the first thing that you need to do is to reflect on what you need that can be possible to achieve in a practical way. It can mean learning a new skill, buying a house, paying debt off, or moving abroad.

But this main goal should also be broken into small parts such as joining a 6-week course, saving enough for the upfront fees (so you can buy a house), or even as simple as opening a bank account.

In other words, think about “specific” as a synonym of “baby steps” as a guide for happiness, and you can’t go wrong.

See Also: 10 Life Changing Tips for A Successful And Happy Life

You must be realistic about the time you have (so you can remain motivated)

The main reason why so many people never achieve their goals is the fact that they overestimate their possibilities. In their minds, a day has 48 and not 24 hours, and the only things between them and success are work and sleep. But the truth is that there is a lot more to be taken into consideration here.

Try an experiment: for one entire day, track how much time you spend doing each one of your activities. It includes having a shower, brushing your teeth, eating, reading the news, looking out the window, and speaking on the phone. Absolutely everything.

Then, on the next day, try to find out which one of those things you could not have done, or done in a more productive way. Now you will know how much time you have left to try new things and get that extra goal done. Not much, right?

Of course, if you go further down, you can stretch your hours a little bit. However, you probably have noticed that there are some things that you MUST do anyway, such as eat and sleep, and these things take time. So, you should take into consideration the hours that you really have in your hands when you start setting your goals, and not the ones you think you do.

Only set goals that are relevant to you

We live in a very competitive world so it is understandable why we fail in this matter. And even in our personal lives, we are always fighting for attention, for the perfect partner, for the best holidays, and so on.

Even though there is no problem in wishing the best for ourselves, it is important that our idea of best is based on what we really want for us and not on peer pressure.

And this is because we won’t remain motivated if our goals aren’t relevant to us. If we are trying to do it just because we think we should, the chances of procrastination are much higher. Our heart won’t be there and, considered that those are personal goals, there is no boss or risk to be fired pushing your decision-making process forward.

See Also: How To Set And Achieve Goals For Success In Career – 7 Tips

To sum up

If you want to make sure that the next time that you set your goals they will work out as you wish, you need to apply personal SMART goals correctly with these things in mind:

• That you will break your goals down up to baby steps (to baby ‘s first steps if necessary);
• That you will be realistic about the time that you have to spare;
• That you will only set goals that are relevant for you.

Personal SMART goals

make the whole process much easier and more effective. And you also won’t be getting yourself frustrated neither promising to others what you can deliver.

Diana Beyer

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