Are your goals SMART goals?

By Zoe Taylor

We talk a lot about goal setting on our blog, and that’s because it’s such a straight forward, motivating tool to launching your dream career and achieving general happiness. It’s important that your goals are SMART to ensure that they’re easy to achieve and understand.

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Using this easy to remember and simple to follow acronym, you can ensure your goals are unambiguous.\

Making them Specific
Ensure your goals are relevant, well defined and relate specifically to a certain aspect of your work life or personal life. This way your goals are clear and you won’t become confused or go off on a tangent when you’re working towards them.

Making them Measurable
You should be able to know whether the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is, and you should also know when the goal has been achieved. Put deadlines on your goals, set up schedules and steps towards achievement and set out evaluations. This will make it much easier to determine the successes and failures as well as how well the goals are achieved and potentially predict the achievability of the goals.

Making them Achievable
Don’t set out to do something that doesn’t fit in with your current work and personal life unless you are willing to re-structure one or both of these aspects of your life. Don’t set impossible deadlines and don’t assign yourself more work that you’re able to do alone. If your goals are impossible to achieve within the set guidelines, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and there’s nothing less motivating than failing to achieve your goals.

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Making them Realistic
Similar to making your goals achievable, it’s important that you make them realistic – set sensible deadlines that make it possible to carry out your goals in the given time. It’s also a good idea to ensure that you have access to the resources required to accomplish your goals, otherwise it will be difficult to do so. Another aspect you may not have considered is your knowledge on the topic of your goal, which can affect your ability to carry out the goal. If you have an endpoint in mind, but don’t necessarily possess the know-how, it’s a good idea to ask someone for help or guidance.

Making them Timely
It’s important to determine the right amount of time for achieving the goals. While it’s vital that you don’t set impossibly short deadlines, it’s also important that you don’t allow too much time. This can result in the postponing of essential tasks and the unrealistic idea that tasks can be put off for long periods of time and this won’t effect the successful completion of a goal.

Reevaluating
It’s important to go back and reevaluate your goals later on, ensuring that they remain SMART. You can do this once a month by asking yourself questions based on each step of the SMART goal acronym. Some evaluative questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Are my goals still relevant?
  • Do they remain specific to my career and personal life?
  • Did I predict the completion time and successes correctly?
  • Do I still think I can achieve my goals in the amount of time I set?
  • How well are the goals being carried out?
  • Are the goals still achievable?
  • Are they fitting in well with my career and personal life?
  • Have I allowed myself enough time to achieve my goals?
  • Do I still have access to the relevant resources to carry out my goals?
  • Do I need to ask for help or guidance to continue with pursuing my goals?
  • Should I have allowed less time to each goal?
  • Should I change the deadlines?

If you follow these steps, you’ll be setting smarter, more attainable goals with strong direction.

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas such as studying, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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