Creating SMARTER Goals
We all know that when we write a goal it should be a SMART goal. Over the last year, we have worked with our clients on developing SMARTER goals and found it to be much more effective. SMARTER means that each and every goal meets all seven requirements:
1. Specific. Every goal must be specific in nature, if it is not specific it is not a goal.
2. Measurable. We must have a way to determine that we accomplished the goal.
3. Action-oriented. Action-oriented means that the actions required propel us forward.
4. Realistic. Nothing is more destructive than unrealistic expectations. We must take into consideration our human nature and our own limitations.
5. Time-based. We must define a time frame in which we will accomplish the goal.
6. Exciting. If the goal does not excite us we are bound to not be engaged and soon thereafter drop it.
7. Rewarding. The goal that we set must have its own reward defined, for example, learning a new language will enable me to visit the foreign country I always dreamed about visiting.
Before you write a goal, you must first define what you want to accomplish, or as we like to say, where you would like to land. Looking 20 to 30 years into the future, where do you see yourself? What do you want to accomplish in your life, or in your business? Once you determine your accomplishment, or define your legacy, ask yourself if this legacy has the impact that you envision or dream of. Have you challenged yourself? If not, take a deep breath and start over. Push yourself.
The next step is to break your legacy down into long-term goals, each taking no longer than five years. Ask yourself what steps will it take to accomplish your legacy? This new set of shorter goals is required to assist you in the journey, too large a goal and it becomes impossible to achieve, too small and it becomes a meaningless advance in your journey.
These goals will create the outline of your work plan.
Looking at each long-term goal, create a list of milestones. Breaking your goals down into smaller portions will make it easier to achieve them and maintain your focus.
What skills will you need to gain? What research will you need to complete? What resources will you need to gather? Each long-term goal will have at least one to five milestones.
Looking at each milestone, create short-term goals that will help you reach the milestones. What steps can you take to work towards each milestone? Once you have your list of short-term goals, create daily or weekly action steps you can take to reach each short-term goal.
Every goal should have an objective, what you want to achieve. Once you define this, answer each of these questions with as much detail as possible. The details will help you when you are assessing your work and the completion of each goal.
Once you have a short-term goal defined you are ready to write your SMARTER goals. Remember, your goals should terrify you just a little bit, excite you, and drive you toward your legacy.
For each goal, define how you will celebrate your achievements. It can be going for ice cream, taking a nap, or taking a vacation. The most important thing is that you make an active decision to celebrate your accomplishments. This does define the last “R” of the acronym for what this guideline stands for, this is YOUR time to reward yourself, and marks the end of one step and the beginning of the preparation for the next step.