The effective goal-setting recipe

If I’d ask you what is your goal you might answer “grow my business”, “have more money”, “spend more time with my family” and so on. And this sounds like you know exactly what you want but in order to get it you need to be more specific about what you want to achieve. You need to be so specific that you can actually paint a clear picture of the moment when you will have achieved it.

But most of us spend years and years talking about the same goal without ever achieving it.

“I want to write a book someday” you might say. And this is how a goal that might never be achieved sounds like.

To continue with the example of writing a book I will take you through the basics of goal setting in business, the model that you can adapt and use in any area of your life to check if your goals are set properly. This is the SMART model, meaning that all your goals need to be SMART:

The S stands for Specific – when it comes to “writing a book one day” – “a book” and “one day” are general notions, they are not specific enough; So, go deeper and state clearly: what kind of book? Is it fiction? non-fiction? Self-help? I want to write a Fantasy novel would be a more specific goal.

The M stands for measurable and this aspect is one of the most neglected when we set goals in our private lives. We can only know our progress if we find a way to measure it. In terms of writing a book, you can measure your progress by no of pages. Writing a 250 pages Fantasy novel by December would give you an idea about the no of pages you should write per day in order to reach your goal.

The A stands for achievable and this is a very important aspect. This is a more general stage of your reality-check. Here you can relate to other people who already achieved what you want to achieve and how did they managed to do it.

The R stands for realistic and this goes hand in hand with achievable. It is the more specific reality-check. This is the point where you think the amount of time you have for the actual writing, your experience with writing and all the other aspects that could influence the pace of your progress towards your goal. Sometimes you might realize that the date you set is not quite achievable and you might want to adjust it and that is perfectly fine.

The T stands for Time-bound. Putting a date to our goals makes them more palpable and helps us know how far we have come following a timeline. In these terms, “writing my first Fantasy novel by December 1st 2021” gives you a timeframe for the goal and makes it even more specific.

Setting a goal in this manner will definitely give you a feeling of urge to take action. The goal will feel more real. From this point, the date of December 1st will mean something to you and not taking action will have a mental and emotional cost. But in the same time, it will make you more responsible for taking action to achieve it. A goal set like this is more likely to be achieved.

In addition to the SMART model, make sure your goal is emotional bounded and personal. Remember why is important to be achieved. Sometimes our dreams change over the years. Make sure that they mean something to you. A lot of times we might find ourselves working for someone else’s dream. You surely don’t want to be one of them.

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