S.M.A.R.T. Goals

“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.”  -Elbert Hubbard

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Design Divas Vinyl Lettering and Wall Art on Etsy

Do you remember my homework assignment —set some goals and organize a plan. Well I’ve been thinking a lot about that these past few days, while chasing my daughter around the house, and I’ve come to the realization that it’s easy to “set goals”.  People are always talking about their goals.  But if you aren’t setting “S.M.A.R.T. goals“, if you aren’t breaking bigger goals into smaller steps, if you aren’t taking your goals seriously and checking in on a regular basis, well then, why set goals at all?

In the past, as a teacher on the first day of school, I would always set “S.M.A.R.T. goals” with my students each year after reading “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss.  A S.M.A.R.T. goal” is this:

S = Specific – Don’t just decide vaguely what it is you’re going to do.  Rather, be specific and include the who, what, when, and where.

M = Measurable – If you can’t measure a goal, how do you know when you’ve reached it?  Vague words like “good” and “awesome” are examples of words I had to teach my students to stay away from.  Rather, I encouraged them to use a measurable number.  Instead of saying, “I’m going to be a good math student this year” a student should say, “I will have a math score of 92% or higher at the end of the quarter”.  See the difference?

A = Attainable or Achievable – An important step  to consider when trying to achieve your goals is all the smaller steps and benchmarks that your larger goal breaks down into.  By breaking your goals down into smaller goals, you can slowly step towards the bigger goal, as well as track your progress along the way.

Check out this great resource, a “goal planner sheet” to help you track your progress along the way to achieving your goals.

R = Realistic – Personally I like to add “Plus a Little Risky” to this one.  It’s important to to set yourself up for success, yet at the same time challenge yourself beyond what you think you can do.  “Realistically” I can’t make $100,000 this year considering I’m the primary care taker for a child who only takes a 90 minute nap on a good day.  Yet at the same time, if I don’t set goals that are a little risky, I might never be challenged to stretch myself.  Be careful to find balance between the “realistic” and the “risky”.

T = Timed – And lastly, make sure you clarify when you will reach your goals, otherwise you might never reach them.

Today’s assignment, sit down and think about one thing you hope to accomplish in the future.

Do you think that it’s important to share your goals with others as a means of accountability.  I do!  And that’s why I’ll be sharing a few of my goals with you next week.

Won’t you share one of your S.M.A.R.T. goals with me?

Note:  Tara Gentile from Scoutie Girl just launched a FREE 8 part mini e-course on creating action out of inspiration – moving you past procrastination & into accomplishment.  Guess what her first lesson was on?  That’s right –goals!
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9 observations on “S.M.A.R.T. Goals
  1. Amelia

    ah yes, I love goals. I have endless notebooks around my home filled with goal lists. The great thing is finding them much later down the line and realise that I have fulfilled my goals – great feeling indeed!

    My goal write now is to get the creative ideas that have been bubbling around in me for a while, out in the open. That’s a bit ambiguous, which I guess is nerves about saying it totally out loud :0

    Good luck with your goals, your ‘about me’ story was v inspiring indeed 🙂


    1. Angela

      I love that feeling too, realizing I’ve met my goals down the road subconsciously.

      I think it’s important to share your goals with a “safe” source, maybe the “cheerleader” in your life. Start there and then work up to a little tougher audience. Often when I talk about my goals with other people, not only am I more likely to accomplish them, but it seems I naturally problem solve around the issues that are preventing me from accomplishing the goal. Does that make sense. Anyway, that’s my two cents 😉

      Your blog is lovely by the way! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. Kristina P.

    These are great! I teach a lot of classes to at-risk youth, and we talk about goals a lot. I usually do the 3 M’s- Meaningful, manageable, and measurable. But I like the SMART anagram too!

    1. Angela

      That’s amazing Kristina; that you work with at-risk youth! I bet you have a lot of first hand experience then on the importance of goal setting. Wow, good for you!

  3. Jene

    Hey, didn’t you give up being a teacher. What is with all the homework! I don’t think you are able to give that out anymore! LOL! Love ya

    1. Angela

      Lol, you are too funny! But that was my favorite part of teaching, making the kids suffer with lots of homework 😉

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