It’s a new year and what better time to set goals and work towards achieving these goals. Without goals, you can lack focus and direction. Goal setting involves coming up with an action plan designed to motivate and guide you towards a goal.

The SMART criteria is a good rule to follow when deciding what goals you want to achieve. SMART stands for:

Specific: Your goal needs to be clear and well defined. Vague goals are not helpful because they don’t provide you with sufficient guidance and direction and in order to be helpful, you need to set goals that will show you the way to successfully achieving these goals.

Measurable: Include precise amounts or dates to your goal so you can measure your progress. You need to be able to quantify your progress or at least suggest an indicator of progress. For example, if your goal is to “reduce expenses”, how will you know if you have been successful? If you set your goals to reduce expenses by 1% in a month’s time, you will be able to see if you’ve reached that goal and celebrate once you’ve achieved it.

Attainable: You want to set goals that are challenging but also achievable. If you set a goal that you have no chance of achieving, it can erode your confidence. On the other hand, you don’t want to set a goal that’s too easy to achieve. You need to set goals that “raise the bar”, therefore once you achieve these goals that you had to really work towards, it’ll be worthwhile.

Relevance: Setting goals should be relevant to what it is you want to achieve in both your personal life and career life. By setting goals that are follow this rule will help you focus on what you need to do to get ahead and achieve this goal.

Time-related: You need to specify when you need to achieve this goal and set a deadline. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and it will push you closer towards achieving your goal.

Setting a goal and working towards achieving this goal is not an easy task. But following steps such as the SMART criteria is one tool you can use to making reaching your goal a little easier.

Find out how oyur doing later on your goals by seeing our goal check in blog here.

Written By: Dr. Anne Trinh, DC