You’ve probably heard the term SMART goals at school, work, or even online. But you may not know what the heck it stands for, and that’s ok! We’re going to break it down right now — keep reading!
We can define goals as objects of a person’s ambition or an aim at the desired result. Most of us have some goals set out for ourselves to improve our lives. We can relate your goals to personal or professional progress. Either way, without goals, there’s not much room for advancement and without the challenge of reaching a goal you’ve set for yourself, life would be stagnant.
But the process in which we set goals for ourselves matters. Although, you are responsible for whether you follow through with the goals you’ve set for yourself, how you set them has a hand in determining how successful you’ll be in achieving them.
The term SMART Goals refers to a process in which you set goals that will give you greater success. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The SMART goals method will help you with your organization, focus, and clarity with your goals.
Research has shown that using the SMART goals method can save you time and simplify reaching your goals. SMART goals are easy to implement and can be used by anyone with the desire to improve their life by setting and achieving goals.
The SMART Goals method of goal setting works because it lays each step out for you.
The S stands for specific, meaning the goal needs to be clear and specific. When setting a goal for yourself, you must steer away from generalized statements. The more precise the goal is the better.
M is for measurable. Measurable goals refer to tracking your progress. Your goal will be easier met if you can assess progress along the way, giving you more motivation and focus toward your ultimate ambition.
Next, A. The A is for attainable. Although your goals should help stretch you outside of your comfort zone and push you to the next level, it’s important that the goals you set remain achievable.
R, relevant goals are imperative to your success. This means that the goals you set should be important to you and aligns well with your life and other goals you have set.
Finally, T, for time bound. Your goals should have a deadline to achieve them. This will help keep you on track and focused, and give you opportunities to celebrate your small wins along the way.
By implementing the SMART Goals system, you will gain the ability to achieve your goals, faster and with a higher success rate.
For instance, in 2008 I decided I wanted to change my life. I was in the hospital being treated for being at death’s door with an eating disorder and PTSD (though that wasn’t diagnosed properly until later). The crappy things I’d felt since the condo building I was living in blew up in 2005 (seriously, Hollywood style and scary af) led to me wanting to start over in a positive way. I grew tired of being anxious, afraid, and feeling the need to control things in my life.
That year my grandma gave me a copy of The Secret, her favorite book apparently. She knew I needed to reframe things and to set out on a better path. I dismissed the book at first, but picked it up and read it cover to cover. That book inspired me to set some goals.
So I set goals to change my environment, the way I lived, and to find a better job. Nice short, one-year goals.
Things changed and shifted, and it was because I used the SMART goals system and stuck with it. I took action and created change.
After I accomplished the first set of goals, I set longer and longer goals. In 2010, I got promoted over and over again. I dressed differently, learned a little makeup and hair, and looked differently too; professional, chic, the embodiment of the job I wanted instead of the job I had.
That year, I set a 5-year plan in motion and drafted a 10-year plan too. All of the things I wanted to achieve, I did in 7 years. A few a little faster due to a restructure out of my corporate job, but they happened just the same.
One of those goals was to really step into being a full-time entrepreneur. I’d been side-hustling since 2000, so striking out full-time would be a really big deal! In 2017, I made that happen.
I took that darn layoff SO hard and bawled my eyes out for a week. You see, I envisioned growing into a bigger role and later on, going full-time. The fact that it happened 3 years too soon was a huge shock to the system! My identity was wrapped up in being a dedicated corporate employee.
Thankfully, we had our honeymoon trip to Mexico bought and paid for before I became unemployed. So, we still got to go! I thought long and hard that whole trip about what to do and what I wanted. Poolside in Mexico, I decided to go full-time. On the spot, I created and rebranded my website with She’s Got Vision (’cause I did have a vision for the future!), purchased a course on how to become a Pinterest VA, and started writing about Pinterest.
A few days later I received the photos back from a photoshoot I did before I left, and it solidified the fact that I’d made the right choice to be taking the risk to go down this path. New website, new topic to go all-in on, and new photos too! Exciting times!
I stumbled a lot that year, but setting out on the path I did lead the way for where I am today and all the opportunities that presented themselves along the way. SMART goals work when you’re ready and willing to take action to achieve them!
I still set SMART goals, and create vision boards. It’s a system I use to help me fulfill my goals and get where I want to go.
Do you set smart goals?
I started my career in Business Administration before going on to complete my BBA in Marketing at NAIT & my MA at the University of Alberta. After spending 16 years in the corporate world, I set out to help small business owners successfully scale their online businesses to 7 and 8-figures.