They are especially popular at the beginning of a new year: the goals to be tackled that will make everything better. Yet, throughout the year, we often set goals whose achievement we fail at. Maybe it’s because we were too vague or unprecise in how we phrased our goals, or they simply cannot be achieved.
SMART method structures goals
For the dilemma of ambitious goals that unfortunately can’t be achieved, the SMART method may offer some help. It offers assistance so that goals can actually be achieved. The method, developed in the 1980s, structures goal-setting and thus provides a concrete way of doing things so that goals do not simply remain dreams.
SMART: Five criteria have to be fulfilled
The five letters of SMART goals set the course. They stand for
Put SMART goals in writing
With SMART goals, it is important that they should absolutely be written down. A good example is the desire to get more exercise, which is indeed positive, but doesn’t contain any concrete course of action. So the statement “I want to exercise regularly” is already much more concrete, but it still doesn’t contain any measurable and therefore verifiable settings, and it doesn’t say anything about what constitutes exercise.
State SMART goals concretely
The statement “I want to go jogging five days a week” is much more concrete. But there’s still a lot of room here to defer these exercise appointments. So the appointments should be clearly set. In addition, jogging in attractive surroundings could increase motivation considerably. With the statement “I want to go jogging in the nearby park Mondays to Fridays,” we get one step closer to setting a goal with ourselves. Specifying a time makes achievement easier If your days are already pretty packed, you should consider whether it is even realistic to go jogging every day of the week. In addition, you shouldn’t underestimate the time commitment. An exact time – after checking your weekly planner – gives a clear framework and places exercise in an exact time slot that cannot be shifted easily if the goal is taken seriously. The statement “I want to go jogging in the nearby park for 45 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 p.m.” is therefore nearly perfect in terms of the SMART method.
Check SMART goals for feasibility
In the example presented, if you’re starting to exercise from square one, you should ask yourself if it is even feasible to start off with jogging three times a week. It might be much more realistic to cut up the goal (running three times a week) and here again to give an exact description of the time. According to the criteria of SMART goals, the following statement would be exemplary: “I want to achieve my goal of going jogging in the nearby park for 45 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 p.m. in the following way: Starting on 1 July, I will go jogging in the nearby park for 45 minutes every Monday at the designated time. Starting 1 August, I will go jogging in the nearby park for 45 minutes every Monday and Friday at the designated time. Starting 1 September, I will go jogging in the nearby park for 45 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 p.m.” If you can organize and write down your goals this way, you will be on the right path and can better make your dreams reality.
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