How to write S.M.A.R.T goals

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Writing smart goals

Unmet goals can cause serious bad moods and even depression. So many people are unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives because they haven't reached the goals they were after.

The depression that could result from unmet goals could be very serious especially if achieving the goal was very important to you.

One of the biggest reasons that prevent some people from ever reaching their goals is the wrong way of writing those goals. In order to be able to measure your performance against a real goal you must make sure that your goal was written properly according to the S.M.A.R.T guidelines.

How to write SMART goals

Most probably you already know that each letter of the word “SMART” represents a specific word, SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Let’s examine each one closely:

  • Specific : A goal should be specific and not vague. An example of a vague goal is something like “I want to become good at using computers”. What do you mean by the word good? Do you want to learn a programming language or do you want to learn networking? What does this “good” mean? When you don't set specific goals you will not be able to monitor your progress and the result would be not achieving your goals. When you set any goal make sure that it's clear, obvious and specific
  • MeasurableIf your goals were not specific then most likely they won't be measurable. A measurable goal is a one that can be measured against some kind of a reference or indicator. For example if your goal was, taking four computer courses covering networking this summer then it’s a measurable goal. If your goal however was something like "Learning a lot about computers" then you won't be able to measure it. People who fail to measure their goals might end up getting frustrated. In addition to that goals that can't be measured leave the door open for procrastination
  • Achievable: Your goal should not be very easy to achieve so that you don't think that you are fooling yourself. After all setting a goal that doesn't really require any kind of effort to be achieved might be regarded as a self deception attempt by your subconscious mind. Your goal should also not be very difficult so that you don't end up feeling frustrated. The goal should be challenging enough to let you use most of your resources to reach it yet it shouldn’t be an impossible goal.
  • Realistic: I was amazed when I knew that one of the popular search keywords in search engines was “how to become rich overnight”. Certainly everyone who has the get rich quick mentality will face lots of disappointments in his life. The goal should be realistic and what’s meant by realistic is that it should be something that can be done by a normal human being. Putting a goal to get rich over night is only going to leave you frustrated, disappointed and even depressed.
  • Timely: Unless you set deadlines for your goals you will never become motivated to start working on them. Setting the deadline is the signal that your subconscious mind needs in order to start cooperating with you towards reaching your goals. If you don't have a clear deadline for your goal then you might procrastinate and never get motivated to work towards it

I still remember the days when one of my goals was making generate 1000$ dollar/month, with generating thousands of dollars/month these days i realized that setting smart goals only leads to beating your targets.

In many cases you will find that you are exceeding the targets you set for yourself when you follow the SMART guidelines. We humans are goal oriented beings and we can go lengths to achieve our goals. But if those goals were hardly measurable then your energy is going to be turned into frustration and disappointment.

An important part of achieving any goal is writing the goal down properly using the right guidelines.

Examples of smart goals

Here are some examples of SMART goals:

  • Earning 500 dollars per month through my blog before the end of this year
  • Completing four levels of the Spanish language course in 2 years.
  • Getting a salary increase of 20% within the next 18 months
  • Making 4 new friends in the next 6 months

As you can see all of those goals are specific, measurable, achievable , realistic and time bound. When you set goals this way you will realize that your ability to reach them has increased.

Final words on goal setting

If you don’t set goals then life will set the rules for you. People who set goals will keep advancing while you will be standing still watching them as they go higher and higher.

Setting goals can also give your life a meaning if you feel that it's a meaningless one. One of your big goals could one day become your life purpose.

Farouk is not only holding several degrees in psychology but he is also an MBA holder, a stock market investor and an entrepreneur. The information you are reading now can dramatically increase your chance of increasing your wealth and becoming reach. If you have any doubts regarding these statements then read what other visitors say about book How I did it was written by Farouk and it explains how he managed to make a website that generates thousands of dollars/month in less than 2 years without paying a penny.

Want to know more?

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Effective goal setting

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