Making Your Goals SMART:
Last week, we introduced the SMART framework that can be used to turn intentions into achievable goals. In this post, we'll explore the first two letters of that handy mnemonic.
S & M: No, it's not what you may be thinking- Specific and Measurable!
S: Specific Think about your intention and the life area in which it falls. What exactly do you want to change or accomplish? If you looked back one year from now, what would have changed? It's time to drill down a little and be clear. This will get you out of fuzzy, wishful thinking and into a mode in which you will be able to design and assess actions and ideas that will propel you closer to what you want to achieve.
For example, just saying, "I want to improve my financial situation" isn't going to help you think, focus and act with clarity about your financial state. What particular facet of personal finance is going to produce the result you want? Do you want to reduce or eliminate your credit card debt? Or do you want to find a job that with a 20% bump in salary? Or you could have your eyes on saving for a big ticket item, such as a down payment on a house. Write it out so you can see it on paper or a screen and explore how it feels.
The specificity of your goal gives you a guidepost to use throughout the year to track your progress and keep you motivated.
Now let's look at
M: Measurable. As the saying goes, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Now we will take the Specific and think about how we want to measure it. We do this so we can measure progress and ultimately know whether we achieved our goal.
Some goals like financial or health goals are obviously a little easier than other areas to measure. If you want to eliminate your credit card debt, you want that year end statement to show a $0 balance. A goal around health could be measured with a number on the scale or perhaps the completion of a half marathon.
But what if your goal is something a little "squishier," like an improved relationship? Explore what would indicate to you that the relationship is improved. Perhaps it is more fun times together or less fighting. Maybe it is productive, meaningful conversations that build intimacy.
Many people find measuring through the number scaling rewarding, despite initial resistance.
Challenge yourself to set a number between 1-10 to quantify your goal. What number do you ultimately want to be at when we finish? What number are you at right now in relation to your goal? Where do you want to be in 3 months? 6 months?
Take some time with this aspect of your SMART goal process to assess what would indicate success to you. It's important that there is some way to measure it, even if it's a goal that doesn't appear at first glance to be measurable. You can get a little creative here and still have a measurable aspect that is meaningful and useful.
Next week, we'll delve into the next two letters, Attractive and Realistic!
Through her ability to listen and connect intuitively on a deep level, Julie guides clients to acknowledge and honor their own personal strengths to (re)discover their own unique spark and achieve their goals, both personal and professional. She is a certified Spiritual Life Coach and MBA currently living in Dallas, Texas with her husband and two rescued Labradors, Candy and Boom. Shine Bright!
John dedicates his life to helping others deepen their connection with the Sacred in the world, nature, and within oneself. He is a Certified Spiritual Life Coach, Coach Trainer, NLP Practitioner, and Authorized Guide to John of God in Brazil. John currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with his fiancée,Cristina, and their wire hair terrier,Angel, who was found on the streets of Brazil.