Are you a high achiever? Are you constantly hungry for more? Striving to thrive in life with whatever your passion may be. Then your probably familiar with the concept of goals setting and how crucial it can be to achieving success.
But the term “goal” can mean so many different things. A goal can be something as simple as “I want to gain muscle,” or something as vague as “I want to make a difference.”
Phrasing a goal this way is dangerous. If the point of a goal is to achieve, then technically, you could gain muscle and make a difference in less than 48 hours. Go to the gym and break down muscle enough so that it needs to repair, eat enough calories to exceed the number of calories you burned, and buy someone less fortunate a nutritious meal. That would be gaining muscle, and making a difference, but what significance will these achievements hold in 24 hours.
We don’t live for only 24 hours, in fact we’re almost living up to a century now, and who knows whats to come with the rise in popularity of wellness, self care and ethical living practices. We have so much time. And if I learned anything from reading the words of experts on long term thinking/strategy, people like; Warren Buffet, Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuck, & Seth Godin, its that compounding interest works in a multiple areas of life. An ongoing series of small positive actions executed consistently with the right intent can have profound life-changing and world-changing affects.
I’ll be sure to write more about what I’ve learned from these individuals and their counterparts as time goes on.
That’s why having a short-term mindset when crafting your goals is a big mistake that poses dangerous consequences. For me, it has lead to a false sense of accomplishment. A place in life where you feel busy, feel like you are achieving, but in reality are not making any real lasting change. And deep down you know it to.
To combat this, I’ve learned you must methodically and consciously approach the task of setting goals in a long-term mindset/strategy in mind. One of the best ways I found to do this was by adding structure that could not only keep me accountable over long periods of time, but also sustain the drive and motivation required when going after something that may be years away.
Now I know way invented this system at all, but have found it to be an extremely effective tool in taking control of my life, so this is my own format for this goal-setting structure. This goal structuring system is refereed to as SMART goals typically, were going to call them SMARTER goals.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, “SMARTER” is an acronym that stands for; Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevancy, Time-Bound, Evaluate & Reward. Structuring your goal with these concepts and guidelines is how you make a regular basic goal, SMARTER.
Like I touched on earlier, your goal must be specific. The more specific the better. Saying ” I want to gain muscle” is simply not enough. Instead of including your want, you must also include your why , and your how (including the ways you will stay accountable).
Fill your next goal into the blanks of the following, this will be your mission statement; “I’m going to ________ because______. I’ll achieve this by ______.” For example, a specif goal could sound something like this; “I’m going workout everyday because when I’m progressing in physical fitness it boosts my confidence and brings me joy. I’ll achieve this by creating or purchasing a methodically planned out exercise plan and sharing regular progress photos with an online community.”
The three things you want present when making a specific goal are; your need, your why, and how you will do it and stay accountable.
Your goal has to be measurable, in other words, you have to be able to record progress over time.This can be done with excel sheets for numerical tracking, a personal journal, or even a with a visual representation like a graph.
Start your goal with a verb. Instead of beginning your goal with “I want to,” make it a need and start your goal with definitive actionable language like “I’m going to,” or even, “I need to.”
This is the part where you evaluate if your goal is really worth it. It helps to have self-awareness if you want to be successful with this part. To come to a conclusion on this, it can be helpful to ask yourself the following questions;
- How relevant is your goal to your life?
- What will change in your life when you achieve this goal?
- Do you have the skills and/or knowledge to actually execute on it?
- After you achieve your goal, is there a next level?
- Does this goal align with your core principles and values?
One of the most crucial part when constructing your goal. having a time-bound goal means to have a strict deadline, and preferably a few checkpoints as well. This adds a sense of urgency, positive pressure, that will not only motivate you, but also force you to think critically
in terms of efficiency about each decision you make along the way.
For me, incorporating deadlines and checkpoints into my writing projects for clients, is extremely helpful when prioritizing the numerous tasks at hand. On longer projects for instance, I can decide to have a certain number of projects done by a certain date.
It is way to easy to forget or ignore your long term goals, and this is why you need to regularly evaluate your progress and your mission statement throughout the entire process. Set a regular day aside at least once a week to review your progress and re-read your mission statement. Reviewing your progress on a regular basis can keep you in a mission oriented mindset and see if you’re on track for your next checkpoint.
The reward doesn’t have to be anything huge, but it can be. It could also simply be, the incredible feeling you will get by achieving your goal. Either way, a reward can be an excellent source of motivation. Back in the day, I incorporated a small-ongoing reward with my training plan. Every time I reached a new 10 rep max on the bench press, I would add $5 to a “gym beater fund.”
I have found properly planning and creating structures that hold me accountable has been a major aid in achieving the goals I’ve has in both my fitness & professional life. Let me know if the S.M.A.R.T.E.R Goal System helped you achieve what you needed to achieve!
I made a condensed version of this S.M.A.R.T.E.R system so you can easily use it as a reference when crafting your next goals! Click the photo below to get the resource right to your inbox.
Until Next Time, Strive to Thrive
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