How to Crush Your Goals the SMARTEST Way
How to Crush Your Goals the SMARTEST Way
Do you use goal planning to improve your life? What if I told you that by planning out your goals in a simple format, you could be almost guaranteed to achieve anything you want in life.
It’s true. We are all just human beings after all so why is it that some people are more successful, happier, and fulfilled than we are? Sure, some of them may be blessed with a trust fund or extremely supportive families, but more often than not successful people just know the formula. And it’s not out of your reach!
So what is this magic formula? It’s making sure you set the SMARTEST goals. I had lots of people ask me for a cheatsheet so I created one for you. You can download a copy of the SMARTEST Goals worksheet here.
How SMARTEST Goals Differ from SMART Goals
If you’ve try goal setting in the past, you have probably come across SMART Goals. In fact, I did a whole series on SMART Goals at the beginning of this year. But, as I have continued down this path of learning, I have found a few things missing for setting personal goals. (The original SMART goals were created for middle managers in business organizations.)
By reworking these parameters and adding the last 3 letters, this way of goal planning has been able to help me get over some hurdles and start knocking my goals out of the park.
The idea is to set BIG GOALS for your life. Ones that will make scare you a little bit, but that will make living your life the adventure and dream you’ve always wanted. These are not for simple goals like drinking 8 glasses of water a day (although that is a great thing to strive for).
This is the framework to use when you want to write a book, start a business, or travel the world. What would you do if you won the lottery? That’s what you should use the SMARTEST Goal framework for!
The SMARTEST Goals Framework
Just like with SMART Goals, the letters in smartest are an acronym. But instead of just one word, each letter is a small phrase.
Want to download a cheatsheet for SMARTEST Goals? You can do that here!
S: Specify your outcome
This first step is extremely important. You need to be clear about what you want to achieve. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there.
M: Measure your progress
Next, you need to be able to measure your progress along the way. The ability to measure how you’re doing will keep you motivated. You’ll either be able to see how well you’re progressing and want to keep moving forward or you might notice you’re not making much progress so you can increase your efforts.
A: Add accountability
Doing things alone can be very scary. Not many of us are good at self motivating so having an accountability partner is crucial. This can be as easy as telling someone you respect about your goal with the aim of not wanting to let them down. Or, if you need more motivation, you can hire a coach or trainer to help you reach your goal.
R: Reach for the stars
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. For so long, general consensus has been that our goals need to be attainable, relatable, or realistic. And yes, on some level, they need to be possible, but honestly boring goals will not motivate you to get out of bed. So, dream big! It needs to be within your power to breakdown and achieve, but you can write a book ( a very common big goal), start a business, move across the country, go for that impossible job, or anything else you can dream up.
T: Time your progress
Some people say that putting a time limit on a goal is a bad thing because perseverance is needed to do anything worth while. And while I agree that our big goals and dreams will not become a reality overnight, adding a time factor to your progress is important. How many times have you said, “someday I’ll do that”, but someday never comes. You need to challenge yourself with an ending date.
E: Excite yourself
Just a reminder, these are YOUR goals and YOUR life. No one else. So while you may already wear a lot of hats (mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker) you owe it to yourself to live the best life possible. That means your goals should thrill you and make you excited to get out of bed in the morning. If it’s a boring goal (like drinking 8 glasses of water a day) or a goal you set because you wanted to please someone else, you will not be motivated to work hard to achieve it.
S: Scale your tasks
The problem with setting big goals is that they can be overwhelming. For instance, if your goal is to write a New York Times Best Seller, it would be very difficult to sit down and hash it all out in one setting. The best thing to do is to break your goal down into small, bite-sized tasks. For instance, find a topic, outline the book, start a blog to grow an audience to sell to while you write the book, write 1000 words per day. Each of these tasks can be broken down further so that you can take one small step at a time. All of these baby steps will add up and before you know it, you will have run the marathon or writing that book.
T: Take on a habit
Finally, the best way to stick to taking these baby steps is to create a habit of doing so. You are the sum of your actions that you repeat everyday. These actions are your habits and overtime your habits will guide your life. If you want to change your life, you need to change your habits. James Clear discusses the habit loop in his book, Atomic Habits. In it he lays out the habit cycle as cue, craving, response, and reward. If you lack the first 3 a behavior will not occur. Without all four, a behavior will not be repeated.
The clear difference between a SMART Goal and the SMARTEST Goal framework is the choice to DREAM BIG! You do not want to live a middle-of-the-road kind of life. You want to live your dream life. One that excites you and fulfills you. So, why would you use a goal framework that was made for middle managers. Instead, start using SMARTEST Goals to go after the life you really want.
I’d love to hear about your SMARTEST Goals and the big, scary thing you want to do achieve. Let me be someone on your accountability team and leave me a comment below. It will only take a minute and just may change your life.
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