The post I’m sharing with you is an excerpt of a post originally posted in 2010. From time-to-time, previous posts will come to mind or I’ll come across them and say “hmmm” because they are a gentle reminder to me. You can read the post in it’s entirety here, but below is a recap of goal planning and its importance.
To get what you want and need out of life, you have to plan for it. You have to have goals and ways of tracking your accomplishments and setbacks. I, personally, use what are called S.M.A.R.T. goals. They were introduced to me years ago when I first became a manager in the hospitality industry and I’ve been able to apply them to both my personal and professional life.
If you’ve never heard of a S.M.A.R.T. goal – it stands for Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Realistic; and Time-bound. It’s easy to say I want to be successful or I want to pay off my debt, but without a game plan on how to those things, how will you know when and where to start?
Shape your goals in a S.M.A.R.T. way to keep yourself accountable.
Specific is the what, why and how. Use action words to describe what you are going to do. Why is it important to you? What is it that you want to accomplish and for what reason? How are you going to do it? What resources do you have and/or need?
Have measurable checkpoints. In one week, I want to have this done. In one month, this should be completed. If you’re unable to measure, then you’ll never be able to manage it. Having measurable progress will help to keep you motivated and energized about attaining your goals.
Identifying what is most important to you will often energize you to find the means to attain it. When you really apply yourself, you will find the energy, finances, attitude, skills and abilities to get what it is you really want. You’ll find that people and opportunities will come into your life to help you with your goals once you really begin focusing on them. Come up with an action plan to set you in the right direction of reaching your goal. If you’re unsure what avenues to take, reach out to people who are able to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when necessary.
Your goal must be realistic. Becoming a millionaire in one week does not cut it! Evaluate where you are and what you have. If your goal is unrealistic, then you will lose motivation and it will not happen.
Finally, set a time-frame for your goal. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your original goal in the time that you set, but evaluate what it is you need to change and adapt to so that you can continue on your course to greatness!