Whether it’s January, or any other time of the year, you must set SMART Goals. When you use the SMART goals process, you’re that much closer to achieving the results you want.

While part of me had thought my past client might forget about the commitment I’d made to her regarding the half-marathon, I still took the time to focus on my goal.This turned out to be a good thing, because she didn’t forget!In the summer of 2005, Valerie contacted me again and asked if I was ready to sign up and begin my training. My half-thought promise turned into a full-fledged commitment!

I knew if I was truly going to follow through, I needed to finalize the setting of my goal.This was a little scary, as it was far above anything I had ever imagined myself doing.The marathon was 13.1 miles. Even for people who do run, that’s not a short hike. For me, the non-runner, those miles seemed excruciatingly long.

While I did workout, and tried to keep myself in shape, I was not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination. I was a business owner and a mother to three teenagers. However, I was also a coach. I knew how to stretch my clients to help them move out of their comfort zones in order to reach the successes they dreamed of.

In the way life is, I was about to become my own client. I was about to use all the skills I taught others to ready myself for the biggest “race” of my life.

What is the first thing I did?

I carefully set my goal and I made sure it passed my goal tests.This process started with the SMART Goals I mentioned earlier.

So, what is a SMARTGoal? It’s a method used by companies and individuals worldwide, though the process itself differs slightly from organization to organization. I am going to share with you my version of creating and setting SMART Goals.To begin, answer the following questions:

  1. What do you want? Be specific.
  2. Is the goal stated in positive terms?
  3. What are the logical and chronological steps you’ll need to take in order to achieve this goal?
  4. Is the goal within your control?
  5. What stops you from having this goal right this instant?
  6. What kind of person (behavior, attitude, etc.) do you need to be to attain this goal?
  7. How will you handle potential obstacles?
  8. Is the outcome harmful to anyone?

Once you have these questions answered, you must ascertain that you have a SMART Goal. Use the following to define your goal and to see if it is indeed a SMART Goal.

Is it a SMART Goal? See for yourself:

 

Specific – When you are specific about your goals, you have a far greater chance of seeing success. Vague goals are much more difficult to accomplish.To set a specific goal, you must take into consideration the six “W’s.

  • WHO – Who is involved in the goal?
  • WHAT – What results do you want?
  • WHERE – Where is this goal in your life? Is it a career goal? Where in your career does it fall? For example, if your goal is to increase awareness of your business, it falls within the marketing aspect of your career.
  • WHEN – What is your time frame for this goal? When do you want to see the results?
  • WHICH – Which steps are needed to achieve the results you want? Are there obstacles? Name them.
  • WHY – What are your reasons for accomplishing this goal? Be specific.

Measurable – It is essential to develop the exact method you’ll use for measuring your progress toward the realization of your goal. Progress that is measured allows you to stay on track, gives you concrete target dates to reach, and puts you in control of the process.

 

Agreed – When you agree to accomplish a goal, you must be accountable to someone else. You will focus harder and achieve more when there are other people in the loop. Pick a business colleague, a family member, or a friend and let them in on your goal, and each step you’ll need to take to achieve it.

 

Realistic – With every goal you decide to achieve, be sure it is a realistic goal.This does not mean it can’t be a high one! Reach for the sky, but be sure you have the ability, methods, and resources available to make it happen.

 

Timely – Determine if it’s an appropriate time in your life to work on each of your goals, as well as the length of time you will need to achieve them. Be honest with yourself and develop a time frame that will lead you to success.

Are your goals for 2008 SMART goals? If not, it may be time to rework them.