The month of April is known for April Fool’s Day, as well as for the beginning of spring and Easter. The sun beckons, we have more energy again, and we plan our next activities.
Therefore, April is also a good month to set new goals. Setting goals is an important part of life as it motivates us and gives us direction. However, it is important to formulate these goals sustainably in order to actually achieve them. One method is to set SMART goals to ensure they are realistic and achievable.
What does SMART mean?
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This means that goals should be clearly defined, measurable, achievable, relevant to life, and fulfilled within a certain timeframe.
Why is the way one sets goals so important?
Provides clarity and focus
By setting SMART goals, one gains clarity on what they want to achieve. One can better focus on the goal and plan the necessary steps to achieve it.
Motivation and self-confidence
Achieving SMART goals can lead to motivation and self-confidence. Achieving goals can also lead to further development of one’s skills and competencies.
By setting SMART goals, one can set priorities and focus on the important things. This can lead to increased productivity as one focuses on the tasks that are truly important.
How to formulate a SMART goal?
The goal should be clear and unambiguous. One should ask themselves what they want to achieve exactly and why it is important.
The goal should be measurable so that one can track progress and determine when it is achieved.
The goal should be challenging but still attainable. One should ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources to achieve the goal.
The goal should be relevant to life and be in line with personal values and goals.
The goal should have a clear timeframe in which it should be achieved. This helps to track progress and ensure that one stays on course.
How can one apply SMART goals in everyday life?
Example 1: Weight Loss
Non-SMART goal: “I want to lose weight.” SMART goal: “I want to lose 6 kilograms by April 30th, 2023 (4 weeks) by not consuming any sweets, sugary drinks, or alcohol and by walking for 30 minutes every day.”
Example 2: Finances
Non-SMART goal: “I want to save more money.” SMART goal: “I want to save 2,000 euros within the next six months by reducing my monthly expenses by 350 euros and setting aside a weekly amount of 80 euros.”
Example 3: Career
Non-SMART goal: “I want to get a promotion.” SMART goal: “I want to receive a promotion to team leader in my department within the next year by improving my skills and performance daily, attending 2 training sessions, and successfully contributing to 3 projects.”
Setting SMART goals is an important method to create clarity and focus, increase productivity, and strengthen self-confidence. It helps us achieve our goals in life and improve our skills and competencies. By setting SMART goals, we can steer our lives in the right direction and be successful.
What goals have you set and formulated as SMART? Please share in the comments. By the way, there is a study that states that goals communicated publicly experience reinforcement and are therefore more often achieved than goals that are only agreed upon with oneself ;-)