We have all set ourselves goals at one point or another. Sometimes we are successful in our endeavours, big and small, whether in raising our grades, saving for a formal dress or simply getting our chores done before our parents come home. However, when we fail to achieve our goals, it is often because the method, rather than the goal, is unrealistic.
That is why it is so important to set SMART goals!
SPECIFIC: Is your goal specific? It is hard to feel adequately motivated by a goal that is vague, like ‘improving grades’ or ‘getting fitter.’ Instead, be as specific as possible about what it is exactly you want to achieve. Do you want to earn an A on your next SAC? Do you want to be able to run 5kms? Do you want to save $1000 for your end-of-year travel plans? Great! Having a specific goal in mind will make it that much easier to work towards!
MEASURABLE: Is the goal you have set measurable? How will you know when you have achieved it? This is why goals based on numbers are often ideal, as it is very easy to measure your progress!
ATTAINABLE: Is the goal you have set attainable? While it is always a good idea to dream big, it is important that you do not set yourself up to fail! For example, if you are currently struggling to pass a subject, it is probably not a good idea to set yourself the goal of getting an A on your next SAC. Instead, a more appropriate goal might be to achieve a C, or perhaps even a B, and work your way up to an A down the track! It is for this very reason you should never attempt to run a marathon with no prior training, but instead set a goal to go for a short jog every morning to build up the necessary fitness. Keep it up, and you will be one step closer to achieving the bigger goals which you once thought were impossible!
RELEVANT: Are your goals relevant to the life you want to lead? Imagine the kind of person you would like to be in five, ten, or even fifteen years. Is the goal you are setting going to help you achieve that future, or is it an unnecessary distraction? You only have so many hours in a day, and it is important that you focus on the goals that will bring you the most fulfillment!
TIMELY: Give yourself a timeframe for when you would like to achieve your goal. Do you want to achieve it by next week, next month or next year?
It is one thing to set realistic goals, but another thing altogether to achieve them. Now that you have your goal, you need to think about the behaviours you will need to consistently implement to achieve your goals. Will you need to do an hour of mathematics revision each night in the lead up to the SAC? Will you need to work out three times a week at your local gym? Will you be writing a diary entry each night before you go to bed? It is always a good idea to think about not only what you need to do, but when and how you will include it in your every day life. With a little dedication and determination, this will allow you to turn your dreams into your reality!