It’s coming up to that time of year again. As we draw close to the end of this year, 2015 beckons with its promise of new beginnings, new opportunities, and leaving the past behind to start afresh with a clean slate.

It’s a time of reflection and soul-searching, how we can do better, what we can do different.

A time of transition as 2014 ends and we welcome in 2015.

As most of us wind down for the Christmas break, we will take this opportunity to not only relax and recharge but to plan for the year ahead. Set our goals, both personally and professionally.

For many of us, it is a familiar routine every year. For some of us, it provides the boost we need to kick start the new year. Yet how many of us actually achieve the goals we set and turn them into a reality?

How is it that we might begin with the best of intentions and yet somehow along the way seemingly go off track?

The answer could be as simple as HOW we set our goals. Goal setting the S.M.A.R.T. way is the most widely known and recognised method, and has been proven to be the most effective way for setting goals.

Goal Setting – The S.M.A.R.T. Way

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What is the importance of goals and goal-setting?

What does it do for you?

Why is it critical to do when you are going through a major change?

Why should you do it?

  • Goals give you forward momentum and direction
  • Goals make things that may seem insurmountable now achievable
  • Goals give you self-belief
  • Goals give you clarity around what you truly want
  • Goals give you focus and a purpose
  • Goals hold you accountable
  • Goals allow you to life your life to its fullest

 

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Some of you may have heard of the phrase “S.M.A.R.T. goals”. What does this actually stand for?

 

Smart Goals

When formulating a S.M.A.R.T. goal, make sure it satisfies these 5 criteria. 

Specific

The more specific a goal is, the greater the chance of it being accomplished.

An example of a general goal is – Become fitter.

An example of a specific goal is – Join the gym and work out 3 times a week for the next 6 months.

Ask yourself the following questions –

  • Who is involved?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where will this happen? Identify a location.
  • When will this happen? Establish a time frame.
  • Which requirements and restraints will be part of the process? Identify them.
  • Why am I setting this goal? Jot down the specific reasons and benefits of accomplishing this goal.

 

Measurable

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Set clear and tangible criteria for measuring progress and your outcome. By doing so, you stay on track and it gives you the motivation to renew your efforts towards achieving your goal.

Ask questions such as –

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

 

 Achievable

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The goal must be achievable within the present framework of your life which includes your schedule, workload, current commitments, and knowledge.

Ask yourself this –

  • Are you prepared to make the commitment to reach your target?
  • Are you willing to dramatically alter or at least tweak aspects your life?
  • Is there a more achievable target you are willing to work for?

If you believe it is achievable and will do what you need to reach your outcome, interesting things start to happen. You begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

 

Realistic

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Flowing on from this, the goal must be realistic.

Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

You may not think so but a high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labour of love.

 

Time-bound

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A goal should be grounded within a time frame. Otherwise there is no sense of urgency or forward momentum. A date of completion of the goal or a deadline reinforces the seriousness of the goal in your mind, motivates you to take action, and ensures it is not put on the back burner.

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All my best

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P.S. If you haven’t already, make sure you download The Thriving Woman’s Blueprint ™: The 7 Step Process to take you from Surviving to Thriving.

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