How to Set Goals

Have you ever found yourself working tirelessly but feeling like you’re not making any progress (i.e. you’ve never set goals)? Bill Copeland’s words ring true: “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” This sentiment is all too familiar for those who drift through their careers (or life) without a clear direction or purpose. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the power of SMART goals and how they can transform your professional journey.

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Set Goals… SMART Goals

What are SMART Goals?

SMART is a goal setting acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. While drafting and perfecting your goals, I like to use the “SMARTER” acronym including the addition of E which stands for “Evaluate,” and R which stands for “Revise“; you are a work in progress so monthly, quarterly, and annual Evaluation and Revision of your set goals is key!

SMART goals and OKRs (objective + key result) are both commonly implemented in corporate work environments.

Example OKR: “I will [objective] as measured by [key result].

The Objective is the goal you want to achieve. The Key Result is the metric by which you’ll measure your progress towards your objective. Following the SMART criteria for your OKRs is the key to accomplishing any set goals.

How to Write SMART Goals

SMART Criteria:

  1. Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve.
  2. Measurable: Use quantifiable metrics to track progress.
  3. Achievable: Ensure the goal is realistic and attainable.
  4. Relevant: Align your goal with broader objectives.
  5. Time-bound: Set a deadline for goal accomplishment.

1. Specific

The first step in creating a SMART goal is to make it specific:

Example 1: “I will create a budget.”

Example 2: “I will lose 12 pounds.”

2. Measurable

Consider your goal in quantifiable terms. This step prompts you to apply methods of measuring your progress:

Example 1: “I will create a budget that shows my current expenses in comparison to my allotted annual budget.”

Example 2: “I will lose 12 pounds. I will weigh myself weekly and measure inches lost to quantifiably monitor my journey.”

3. Achievable

Ensure you have the resources and time needed to achieve the goal:

Example 1: “I will create a budget that shows my current expenses in comparison to my allotted annual budget and highlight areas where I am overspending.”

Example 2: “I will lose 12 pounds in 3 months. I will weigh myself weekly and measure inches lost to quantifiably monitor my journey.”

4. Relevant

Every action should move you closer to your goal:

Example 1: “I will create a budget that shows my current expenses in comparison to my allotted annual budget. Based on my current spending, I will strategize on how to cut expenses so that I am back within budget.”

Example 2: “I will lose 12 pounds in 3 months. I will weigh myself weekly and measure inches lost to quantifiably monitor my journey. I will track my calories daily to ensure I am at a 500-calorie deficit.”

5. Time-bound

Set a specific deadline for goal accomplishment:

Example 1 (final SMART goal): “Each month this year, I will create a budget that shows my current expenses in comparison to my allotted annual budget and determine multiple options for how to cut expenses so that I am back within budget.”

Example 2 (final SMART goal): “I will lose 1 pound per week over 3 months. I will weigh myself weekly and measure inches lost to quantifiably monitor my journey. I will track my calories daily to ensure I am at a 500-calorie deficit.”

Free SMART Goal Generator with AI

Still struggling to create your SMART goals? Try these free SMART goal generators powered by AI:

Goal Accountability Partners

Now that you have your goal created, you need a partner to hold you accountable for this goal. Our goal at Grow Offline is to help you accomplish things in the real world via SMART goals paired with a real human Goal Accountability Partner!

Create your own accountability group / peer network at: https://growoffline.com