When it comes to setting and achieving goals, you must be “SMART” or you could be setting yourself up for failure!

In fact, many people use an ineffective approach for goal setting, which can make it difficult to know when and if you’ve even achieved your objective! This can leave you feeling unproductive, or worse, like a failure.

So what are “SMART” goals? They are…

Specific — You must be specific in your goal, otherwise it can be difficult to know what you’re working toward and even if you’ve achieved your objective.

Measurable — You must be able to quantify or measure your result. Saying “I’d like to look better” isn’t measurable (nor is it specific.) But if you say “I’d like to lose 15 pounds,” then that’s something you can easily quantify.

Achievable — Be realistic; if you shoot for something that’s way beyond your reach, you’re setting up for failure. You can’t expect to be a ground-breaking veterinarian if you’ve yet to complete your undergraduate studies. It’s impossible to achieve that goal until you’ve completed a number of pre-requisite goals first, so instead of striving to be a ground-breaking veterinarian, strive to get good marks in your college courses; then strive to earn your degree; then aim to complete applications to 3 veterinary schools. Move in stages and be realistic.

Relevant — It’s important that your goal is relevant to your life and your other goals. For instance, you may want to get a job with a prestigious company, but it would require a 3-hour commute and you’re not willing to move. This makes your goal not-so-relevant, as it’s impractical and it’s not really going to fit in with the rest of your world.

Time-Based — It’s critical for you to establish some sort of timeframe for your goal. So instead of striving to simply “get a new job,” strive to “get a new job by January 1.” This gives you a timeframe and it will drive you to take action. Without a timeframe, you could fall into a cycle of procrastination when it comes to achieving that objective.

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©2017 Rosemary Kelleher