Annies Home Journal

Annies Home Journal contains information and articles, about working from home, as well as business opportunities, and what it takes to make a home based business work.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Creating Smart Goals

Creating SMART Goals

True goals, unlike wishes or resolutions, should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time sensitive.

Be Specific

When formulating a goal, it should be as specific as possible. Exactly what are you trying to do or accomplish? Use clear, exact terms to define your goal.

Make It Measurable!

Every goal should be measurable. Whenever possible, quantify your goal with numbers that define how much, how long, how high, etc. A quantifiable measurement takes the goal out of the fuzzy abstract and brings it into clear, sharp focus. When a goal is measurable, you can clearly see whether you met, exceeded, or fell short of the goal—and by exactly how much. Goals that suggest you want to become “good,” “better,” “successful,” or “the best” at something are not measurable.

Aim for What’s Attainable

Goals must be attainable. Setting a goal too high only ensures failure. Be honest with yourself—up front—about how much time and energy you can devote to achieving your goal. Then set a goal that you have a reasonable probability of reaching. Stretch yourself a bit, but don’t stretch yourself so far that you lose hope of attaining it.

At the same time, don’t limit yourself by setting your goals too low. Remember that your level of desire and your willingness to work toward your goals are directly proportionate to your ability to achieve them. Set goals that you really want to achieve to realize dreams that are really important to you! Your motivation level will be higher, you’ll be willing to spend more time to achieve those goals, and you’ll be more persistent.

Note: You can create attainable goals for even those “impossible” dreams. Keep reading.

Be Realistic

Goals must be realistic. Goals are something you work to achieve. They aren’t miracles or magic. Set goals that you can reasonably achieve based on your background, skills, and talents as they currently exist. As you grow and develop, you can adjust your goals higher accordingly.

Some of your goals may even be to acquire more background information, improve your skills, and exercise more of your talents to move you further along toward the achievement of your goals. Don’t be afraid to call on outside resources to help you achieve your goals, too. There’s no rule that says you have to do it all on your own! What may be “unrealistic” for you to achieve may be easy for someone else to do.

Think outside the box. Do you have to incorporate your new business yourself? Do you need a law degree to incorporate your business? No! Instead, your goal could be to locate a qualified attorney to incorporate your business for you. Hire help if you need to. Draw on local and community resources. Look on the Internet. Ask your family and friends. Leave no stone unturned.

You can often achieve the “unrealistic” with the help of others!

Set a Timeframe

Goals must be assigned a particular timeframe. How long do you have to complete the goal? If you don’t set an expectation of how much time it should take you to accomplish it or when it should be finished, you will never feel a sense of urgency to complete the goal. It could hang out there forever. Setting a timeframe also provides a built-in checkpoint so you can reassess your goals and make sure you are progressing toward your dreams.

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