On January 1st many of us made a commitment to ourselves (personal or professional) that in 2012 you will [insert your goal here]. We are half way into the year and hopefully you are at a half way point with your goal.
GFN blog reader, what steps have you taken to achieve this goal? My goal in life, among many others, is to be successful – this may be your goal, too! However just having the goal of success is not enough. I challenge you to define your description of success. If you do not take measurable actions with tangible results, this goal may never be achieved.
What does success look like for you?
Before you answer, if money is your tangible measurement of success then you have been misled. Now don’t get me wrong, money will make most of our lives less stressful, but if your sole motivation is money then you will never be satisfied. Trust me; it will never be enough money. You will want more and more and… you get the picture. Success, in my opinion, should be measured by attainable goals you set and can achieve. Money will inevitably come if you are pursuing a career or passion that you love.
Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals
I cannot remember who shared this mnemonic with me so long ago – but thank you! Now I will share it with you.
S – Specific
Your goal must be clear and precise.
To give you a tangible example with this mnemonic, I will share one of my 2012 goals with you – I want to be debt free (excluding my lovely mortgage and student loans). I want to pay off Moe, Larry and Curly.
M – Measurable
Track your progress and know when you have reached your goal. Make sure you define specific criteria for measuring your goal. In other words, set small goals throughout the year to ensure the achievement of your goal(s).
In January I sat down and added up what I owed to Moe, Larry and Curly. I projected out where I should be in six months as far as my debt balance. To do this, I calculated my current payments factored in the interest and concluded that if I wanted to be debt free I need to pay an extra $X amount every month.
A – Attainable
It is great that you are setting goals or have set goals for yourself; however, are your goals attainable in the amount of time you have given yourself? It is so important to think about the time frame because you do not want to set yourself up for failure. You will feel defeated and quit.
For my goal - I contemplated if I could actually pay an extra $X amount every month. I looked over my monthly budget (of course I have a budget) and decided that I could make the extra payment. .
R – Realistic / Relevant
Choose a goal that will push you forward in life. If your time and energy has or is going to be spent trying to achieve this goal, just make sure it is worth it.
Paying off Moe, Larry and Curly by the end of the year is realistic because I will and have made extra payments. In order to make the extra payments, I have to sacrifice in other areas of my budget such as dinning out/shopping/etc. In order to achieve your goal, you may have to sacrifice in areas of your life, too.
T - Time
It has been stated throughout this post that setting a time frame for your goals is of utmost importance. If you set a goal with no time frame, you’ll be trying to achieve this goal for the rest of your life.
I gave myself until the end of the year and will do whatever I need to do to achieve my goal.
It is so important to have goals in life. I shared one of my goals with you, what are some of your goals and what have you done to make sure you achieve it?