From the moment we entered 2018 I have been looking forward to the rest of the New Year with excitement.  2017 was a year that I struggled through a lot of setbacks, but I never lost focus on where I wanted to be or what my goals were.  Now that 2018 is here it gives me more incentive to start the progression forward in the manner that I always wanted.

Since I was young I thought that New Year resolutions were silly.  They were empty promises that one made to oneself in order to feel good by haphazardly committing to some endeavor that would have wishful results.  For most people  their efforts usually ended in a fiery crash and burn because planning for success was not part of the landscape of reaching the proposed goal.  As we all know, a plan is something we must all have to achieve even the smallest of goals.  As one crazy television character used say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”  Success is sweet when our accomplishments have taken flight.

This year, if you have a project you want start or a goal you want to reach I suggest beginning with a basic tool to outline the foundation of your venture.  It’s the groundwork that people in business utilize daily throughout the world.  They are SMART goals.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.  It encompasses every aspect from what your idea is, to the execution and the desired results of your endeavor.  Instead of just seeing it as something that’s scribbled on a calendar or filed to the back of your memory you can use SMART goals to stay on course to get where you want to be.

Specific

As the first step plainly states, your goal needs to be a specific one.  For example, if you wanted to lose weight, you wouldn’t just state that as a goal.  It’s not specific enough.  However, if you were to say that you wanted to lose twenty pounds, then that would be a more accurate depiction of the goal you want to achieve.  It sets a real pinpoint desired outcome to all of your future efforts.

What you would also need to take into consideration when establishing a specific goal is to also come up with the reason or reasons why you want to attain it.  Is it that you want to become healthier?  Do you want to look better for the summer?  Do you want to build your net worth to a specific point by the end of the year?  These are all plausible questions in relation to the specificity of your goal.

One might also want to consider where you will be working on your goal as well as the resources involved.  Will you be working with another person or team?  Will you need a specific area to work, such as a garage or a lab?  Maybe you will need a gym or a dojo.  Knowing what will be needed to start your project going is key to a successful outcome.

Measurable

Progression of your project is something that one must keep track of.  You want to see the accomplishment from day to day, week to week and month to month.  Meeting deadlines and milestones gets one excited to keep going the distance until the end result comes to fruition.

Measuring time is not the only aspect you want to take into consideration.  A budget is also measurable.  Keep track of your expenditures to stay on target.  You’ll be surprised at how much money you might save in the long run. 

 

Achievable

We all have incredible things that we want to achieve.  We might want to be millionaires or huge body builders, but these things might take more time than you expect.  When setting out your SMART goal you want to make sure that you can realistically reach it.  This does not mean to make your goal an easy one.  It means to make it one you can see yourself reaching in the time you have allotted for yourself.  Maybe you can make several hundred thousand dollars by the end of the year.  Maybe you can begin the process of becoming that muscle bound body builder you would like to be.  Being able to break down your proposed achievement into smaller attainable and actionable goals will result in perceived success that will drive you forward with enthusiasm.

Relevant

When looking at your goals make sure that they are relevant to what you are accomplishing.   Are they reasonable and realistic?  Are they results based?  These questions need to be answered in order for a positive outcome.  In the end, your efforts need to fall in line to what you set out to achieve.  One can’t be all over the map with ideas and add-ons to a project and expect it to be one that will launch you forward.  Stick with what will work and immediately focused on the tasks that will bring you to victory.

Time-Bound 

A goal wouldn’t be anything if there wasn’t a specific amount of time in which to accomplish it.  It could be a week, a month, or even a year.  Whatever it is there should be a specific amount of time to get it all done.  Time is a key component to all goals, not only SMART Goals.  If one doesn’t attach a specific amount of time to achieve a particular goal, then one can put off all other efforts indefinitely.  It gives rise to procrastination and ensures failure.

Completing tasks chronologically also promotes a positive response.  Knowing that you reached the completion of a section of what you set out to do feels great and gets you motivated to go on and achieve more.  So get that calendar ready and plot the stages of your success!

 

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