Smart Goals Made Smarter

Outline

  • Smart Goals 
  • Smarter Goals
  • Reward Stacking
  • Reminder #002 
  • Recommendations

When it comes to setting goals, I have found that using the  "S.M.A.R.T." method to be the most helpful, and best way (at least the best I've found so far) to actually accomplish what I want to do. The idea of smart goals is  pretty simple, and just takes a little effort at the beginning to think about what it is you actually want to happen, in terms of the goal you have for yourself. If you have never heard of smart goals before, you've come to the right place; If you have, this post will be a great refresher, and I've also added my own spin to make smart goals even better. So lets get into it. First off what are Smart Goals anyway?

Smart Goals

S.M.A.R.T. Goals - stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Most of the time, when we set goals for ourselves, they're very broad and fuzzy. We say things like: "I want to be a millionaire...", or "I want to be healthy...", or "I want to learn a new language..." or "I want to be famous..." We have the goal,  and we have the desire, but we have no idea how to get there and when we try to make it happen, we find that nothing seems to be working, and we eventually just give up. Instead of using fuzzy goals, lets use Smart goals. Smart goals will greatly enhances our ability to achieve and solidifies them into actionable steps.

Smart goals are Specific. Each goal is focused and specifically defined. Instead of being general ("I want to learn a new language", our goals are precise ("I want to speak fluent Italian and be able to have conversations with native speakers"). A good way to make sure that our goals are specific is to ask the 6 W's (Who, What, Where, When, Why, Which) .

Lets use the "I want to be healthy" example:

First off, what does healthy even look like? My definition would be something like:

  • Eat wholesome (aka real / generally not from a box) quality food 95% of the time.
  • Quality over Quantity.
  • Simplicity over Clutter.
  • Surround myself with great relationships. Friends that I can relate to and that will encourage, and keep me accountable.
  • Exercise at least once a week, and make an effort to get away from the computer and other electronics.
  • Mediation and Self-Reflection.
  • Do the things that make me happy and fill me with joy and enthusiasm.
  • Enjoy the little things (Rule #32).
  • Sleep well.
  • Financially healthy.

So some specific examples of "being healthy could be:

"Cook the majority of my meals"

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" - William Marris

"When buying something, make sure to ask Why I want it and if its actually something thats beneficial"

"Make time for friends and family. Make time for meeting new people."

"Walk 10-30min everyday"

"Mediate twice a day for 10-20minutes"

"Go to bed by at least 10, so that I can wake up early filling refreshed"

... (You get the idea)

Smart goals are Measurable. We need to keep track of our progress towards reaching our goals. Measuring our goals will keep us on track, and make sure that we are on target. Remember, if it doesn't get measured, it doesn't get done.

Smart goals are Attainable. We need to make sure that it is actually possible to do within the time frame that we have set, and that they're not beyond our reach. You are more than likely not going to become a millionaire overnight, but that doesn't mean you can't dream big. Reach for the stars, figure out ways to make your dreams come true, Just make sure that you give yourself time, and set the right steps need to achieve your goals.

Smart goals are Realistic. Make sure that your goals are something you are willing and able to work towards. Our goals need to be worth it. We need to be highly motivated to achieve our goals, otherwise we won't do them. Only we can decided if we want to achieve greatness. The only one that decide to go after them is ourselves.

Smart goals are Timely. Goals should have a time frame. Know when to start the goal, when to finish the goal, and the set incremental steps along the way. A time frame creates a since of urgency, and will motivate us to complete our goals. 

Remember: "A goal is a dream with a deadline." - Napoleon Hill.

All in all, I find Smart goals very helpful. I'd like to know what you think as well. Have you tried using Smart goals before? And if so What was your goal and how did it work out? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or email me at: josh@renaissancemanlife.com

Smart Goals are all well and good, but let's add some pizazz and make them better. Let's sprinkle some glitter on our Smart Goals and make them smartER. (ha see what I did there?)

Smarter Goals

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals - stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely, Efficient, and Rewarding.

Now the question is, why should goals be Efficient and Rewarding?

Efficient goals ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck, so to speak. When your goals are efficient, you will be more likely to obtain them and to do so much more quickly. Making sure that the actions your are taking are efficient will streamline your goals and put you on the fast-track towards success. Efficiency is not about cutting corners or taking shortcuts. Instead, efficiency is about finding the best path towards the success of your goal. 

Here's a few questions to ask yourself, to ensure that your goals are efficient:

  1. Has anyone else already achieved something similar to my goal, and if so what steps did they take? What are some of the things that they did and how can I apply them to my goal? What are some of the mistakes that they made along the way that I can learn from and avoid?
  2. Am I using all of my resources and time efficiently?
  3. Have I made my goal a daily or weekly ritual? Something that I can focus on and make progress on regularly?

The "E" in S.M.A.R.T.E.R. could also stand for Emendable, meaning that, you may not know the best actions or path to take right now, but as you go along, you have the ability to emend, or change your goal as you see fit. If something is not working, just change it. If you think your goal is not as efficient as it could be, then emend it until it is. As you measure the progress of your goal, reflect on what methods worked best, and change the goal accordingly, to match your current outlook.

Rewarding goals ensure that your doing something that you actually want to do, and that your goal is rewarding. Give your goals a carrot to keep you motivated to continue. Choose a specific reward that you can give yourself when you achieve a particular goal. Setting rewards gives you a light at the end of the tunnel, so that when you are knee deep in it, and things aren't going the way you've planned, you'll have something to look forward to, something to keep you going, Commit to your goals and make all of your hard work pay off. Think of it as like a cherry on top. Not only did you accomplish great things you set out to do, but you also get a little treat at the end for all of your effort. (A job well done, pats for Patrick) Make the reward anything you want. Maybe a fancy dinner, a vacation, or something you've been eyeing on your wishlist, etc.

Reward Stacking

Lately, when I complete a goal, I have been making my rewards something that can lead into other goals. I'm calling it Reward Stacking. There's not much to it, basically you make the reward for finishing a goal something that you can use and that leads towards another goal. You still need to make sure that the reward is... well rewarding, and is something that you want, the only difference is that you choose a reward that will lead to another goal.

For example, I currently have a goal of learning python (if you are unaware its a programming language). My reward for learning python is buy a Raspberry P.I. With the Raspberry P.I. I can do all sorts of Learning and Projects, using my python skills. The Reward for learning / completing projects on the P.I.  is to purchase a M.A.K.E. kit so that I can learn more about electronics. Each step is beneficial towards learning computer programming and learn electronics and having each goal have a chain of rewards that leads to another goal gives me something to look forward to. 

To recap: 

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals - stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely, Efficient, and Rewarding.

Using the Smarter Goals method will greatly enhance your success towards accomplishing your goals and realizing your dreams. Believe in yourself, and you will make it happen.

Reminder#002: Setting goals for ourselves are great, but don't forget the reason why we are doing it. We do it to realize our dreams. We do it to reach success and achieve. See the vision, remember the why, and make it happen. Only you can make the vision a reality.

Recommendations:

Josh Waggoner