Learn how to set SMART goals and actually achieve them this year. It’s not as hard as you think if you set yourself up for success from the start.
I’ve been getting more and more into goal setting over the last couple of years. I used to make vague goals and for some reason that never really worked, that may be a bit of sarcasm.
Now that I’ve gone to making SMART goals and taking goal setting more seriously I’m having a lot more success. It can all seem a bit overwhelming at first but once you know what you are doing it’s really simple and effective.
This past year I met most of my goals. I didn’t have the best system for tracking them so I think that was my biggest struggle so this year I’ve worked on that. I feel like I even better set up to meet my goals this year.
I wanted to share what I’ve learned and the tools I’m using for goals to help you meet your goals as well. I hope these things help you as much as they have helped me.
How to Set SMART Goals
What is Goal Setting? And What are Smart Goals?
If you are new to goal setting you may not know exactly what goal setting is or what SMART goals are.
“The definition of goal setting is the process of identifying something that you want to accomplish and establishing measurable goals and timeframes. When you decide on a financial change to save more money and then set a certain amount to save each month, this is an example of goal setting.”- Your Dictionary
SMART goals is a way of goal setting that tends to be more effective. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound steps.
- Specific: This is the who, what, why, when, and where of your goals.
- Measurable: How much, how many, and how will I know when I’ve accomplished my goal?
- Attainable: How will I reach my goals and is the goal realistic?
- Realistic: You want to push yourself but also make sure you can reach your goal.
- Time-Bound: Deadlines help us stay motivated.
I started using this in my business a few years ago and have since started using it for personal goals as well. It’s more effective than just writing down some vague goals and hoping it happens.
Using the SMART acronym helps you to make sure you are setting goals in the correct way. You have specific goals, that you can measure, are actually attainable and realistic, and you give yourself a deadline.
How to Set Goals
How do you actually set your goals? There are several things you want to do when thinking about your goals to make sure you pick the best ones and ones you can actually reach.
- What are your top priorities this year? These are the things that are the most important to you and you know need to go first.
- What are your big goals for the next 5-10 years? Knowing these can help make sure your goals for the year are also helping you get to those bigger goals. For example, if you want to buy a house in 5 years you may want to be saving more money or working on the home you have to sell it.
- What things disappointed you last year? Are there things you can do to prevent those things from happening this year? Did you wish you had more money so you could take a trip? Maybe set a savings goal or a goal to start a side hustle.
Once you know those things you can think about what goals would be reasonable for you to set this year. What will help you reach bigger goals, have a better year, and pour into your priorities?
Make sure with each goal you look at the SMART acronym above and break your goals down into smaller pieces. I like to have daily, weekly, and monthly goals that all work to help me meet my yearly goals.
Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds in 3 months. Your daily goal would be to exercise and follow whatever healthy eating plan you are on. Weekly would maybe be the number of times you want to exercise that week. And your monthly goal would be, lose 6-7 pounds.
Focusing on smaller bite-size goals helps keep us feeling more positive and makes the goal seem much easier. And knowing what steps you will take to meet the goals will help you actually reach them.
Tracking Your Goals with a Goal Planner
Like I said keeping track of my goals was the harder part for me last year so this year I’m focused on making that better. I spent about a month looking at goal planners to find one I liked.
I chose the Erin Condren PetitePlanner Goal Setting Journal. It’s affordable and works really well with SMART goals. It includes-
- Goal Setting Tips
- 6 Big Goal Action Plan Spreads (works perfectly with SMART goals)
- Undated Goal Tracking Spreads
- To-Do Lists
- Reflection and Journaling Spreads
I like the added bonus that it comes with a sheet of stickers. Who doesn’t love stickers? And it’s only $12. Click here to check out the goal planner.
I have just started using this but will come back and update this post with what I think of it after using it. So far I love it and think it will work really well for me.
These are some other tools I use to meet my goals. They are all things I think you may find very useful.
- Free Printable Habit Tracker
- Erin Condren Snap-in To Do List Dashboard (Includes a Habit Tracker)
- Make Over Your Year E-Course
- Popular Planners for Every Budget
Don’t forget to sign up below for my mailing list and free resource library. I often share more about my goals to my email list and I’m always adding new things to the free resource library.