One issue in leading a successful life is setting goals. Having an objective to strive for motivates us, which gives us an easier time trying to accomplish the goal. It is important to note, however, that you can’t just come up with a goal and go for it. You have to think it through. Charging into anything without a well thought out plan never helps anyone. What you need is a S.M.A.R.T. GOAL. Not smart, S.M.A.R.T. It’s an acronym that stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
A specific goal answers these questions: Who is involved? What do I want to accomplish? It also should establish a time frame, indentify a location, requirements, and constraints, and a reason to do so. Instead of a general goal, like “Get in Shape”, you should go for a specific one, like “Join a health club and work out 3-4 days a week”. A measurable goal establishes concrete criteria for measuring your progress. Even if you have a specific goal now, how can you measure your progress? How will you know if you have accomplished your goal? Being able to see your steady progress towards your goal can help motivate you further, so this is important as well.
When you identify an important goal, you slowly develop your abilities skills, attitudes, and financial capacity to reach it. If you plan your steps carefully, almost any goal can become attainable. On the other hand, the goal has to be realistic. It must have an objective that you are able and willing to work toward. This doesn’t mean a goal can’t be placed high. In fact, higher goals provide better motivation than lower and easier ones. For a goal to be realistic, you simply have to believe that it can be accomplished. If you think you can’t do it, don’t even try. To figure out if a goal is realistic, compare it to things you’ve done before, and see if you’ve ever achieved anything similar. You can also ask yourself what conditions must exist for the goal to be accomplished.
A timely or time-wise goal is one that is grounded in a time frame. With no time frame, there is no sense of urgency. You can’t just say that you want to lose 10 lbs or write a book “someday”. It might as well be nothing more than a dream. But if you anchor it within a time frame, like “by may 1st” or “before my next birthday”, you’ve set your mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
All these factors add up to provide more motivation in your life. Stumbling through your days aimlessly is not the best way to do things. Set up a good and S.M.A.R.T. goal for yourself to achieve, and you will try your best to work your way towards it. And if you have accomplished that goal, congratulate yourself on your success, then think of a new goal. That way, you can keep yourself moving forward, and live a more fulfilling life.