How to Set SMART Goals

How to Set SMART Goals

One of the skills that I think should be taught earlier on in life is goal setting. I feel like setting goals helps you move further along in life faster because it gives you a sense of direction. It’s about looking at where you are right now and deciding where you want to go. I was going through my notebooks the other day and I realized that I started doing it as early as 2015. It was so surreal seeing the growth that has happened over the years. I’ve moved away from one liners such as to get my own place to more concrete goals but that can be accredited to the fact that I know myself better and with that I know what I want to accomplish. The Bible in Habakkuk 2:2 says that Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. I guess that’s the genesis of it all and that’s why pen and paper will never get old as far as I am concerned.

You’ve probably heard of setting SMART goals and it took awhile for me to really get the hang of it and I’d like to share my understanding of it. We’ll use the example given earlier of moving into your own place.

1. SPECIFIC: Clarity is key when you are setting your goals. Use the five W’s to make it well defined.

What do you want to accomplish?

Why is it important?

Where will it happen?

Who is involved in helping you achieve it?

Which resources do you need?

Example

I want to rent a one bedroom apartment in Ruaka so as to reduce time spent on my commute to and from work. I will need one month’s rent and deposit and the basic essentials i.e. bed, mattress. Go a step further to list down all the things needed and a budget for the same to see what you are working with.

2. MEASURABLE: It’s important to have the ability to measure success and completion to avoid running in circles. You have to be able to track progress of whether you have achieved your goal and if you need to make any changes if things are not working out. 

Example

In our example you’ll know if you’ve accomplished your goal when you actually move in to your place.

3. ACHIEVABLE: Your goal needs to be attainable. It’s good to dream big so that you can stretch yourself but stay grounded and be realistic with what you can actually achieve.

Example

Assuming you are an on an intern salary would it be realistic to rent a one bedroom if it doesn’t fit in your budget. Explore your options and see whether a bedsitter would be the right place to start.

4. RELEVANT: It should be based on the current conditions and realities of where you are at in life and should be aligned with your other goals.

Example

Assuming you want to clear off a student loan by the end of the year would it be wise to move out then or would it be better to use that money to first clear off that and then concentrate on moving out.

5. TIME BOUND: Every goal needs a timeline to keep you in check. Putting a deadline to it gives you the push that you need to get to work because you have something that you need to focus on and complete. It helps you get good at completion and you can close on one goal and move on to the next. 

Example

Write down the exact date and month that you plan on moving out.

Tips

      • Don’t just think it and leave it to chance, write it down so that you can have a reference.
      • Set time aside to set your goals.
      • It’s okay if you don’t accomplish all your goals at once you can move them on to the next week or month.

The whole point of the exercise is to  is to think it through and you might find that you might drop some goals and replace them with others.

 

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