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SMART Goals: The Essential Guide You Need to Succeed



Last week we shared 4 essential, actionable tips for goal setting to help prepare you for success. Now it's time to dive a little deeper into the benefits of writing your goals down and how using the SMART method will get you where you want to go.

Have you been wanting to land a promotion with a nice salary boost? Or planning to eat healthier meals and start a regular exercise routine? Whatever your goals are, they're 42% more likely to be achieved if you write them down. Getting your goals onto paper is step one.

Step two is to figure out how to carry them out. As for that, we recommend the SMART method. George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham first shared the SMART goals acronym and method in their 1981 article, “There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives." The concept was originally geared towards businesses, but has grown into the perfect motus operandi for achieving whatever goals you set your mind to.


OUR GUIDE

An overview of SMART goals with tips and examples to help you succeed.


Why SMART goals?

Writing the perfect SMART goal

 

WHY SMART GOALS?


"A goal without a plan is just a wish," and the SMART method can help turn "wishes," into actionable goals that get results. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This framework allows you to outline a clear path toward success and keeps you accountable along the way.

WRITING THE PERFECT SMART GOAL


The wish: "I'm over renting; it's time to buy a home."


Now let's make it SMART:


Specific

Are your goals clear and direct?


X: "I want to buy a house."


: "I want to save money from every paycheck toward a down payment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."



Measurable

Can you measure goal progress, success, or room for improvement?


X: "Paying off student loans is my number one financial priority. So, I will save 15% of my paychecks toward a down payment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."

:"I want to save 65% of my paychecks toward a down payment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."e."



Achievable

Are your goals realistic? Do you have the necessary skills and resources?


X: "I want to save 65% of my paychecks toward a down payment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."


:"I want to save 65% of my paychecks toward a downpayment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."



Relevant

Are your goals aligned with your values and priorities? How so? Do they contribute to broader goals?


X: "Paying off student loans is my number one financial priority. So, I will save 15% of my paychecks toward a downpayment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."


: "Buying a home is my number one financial priority. So, I will save 15% of my paychecks toward a down payment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."



Timely

Are your goals held to a certain timeframe?


X: "Buying a home is my number one financial priority. So, I will save 15% of my paychecks toward a down payment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."


: "Buying a home is my number one financial priority. So, for a full year, I will save 15% of my paychecks toward a down payment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."

The Final SMART Goal:


"Buying a home is my number one financial priority. So, for a full year, I will save 15% of my paychecks toward a down payment on a home in the $200k-$300k price range."

 

There you have it - our take on setting goals the SMART way! Thanks for checking out our little series on goals over the last two weeks. If you have any tips for goal setting, or if you want to share a SMART goal of your own, let us know in the comments! We're rooting for you!