Discover the power of Smart goals and unlock your path to success. Learn how Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives can transform your goal-setting game

Where’s the novel? Where’s the screenplay?

It’s June. This was one of your New Year Resolutions and we’re into the sixth month and I only see a few scraps of paper with vague ideas.

You only have yourself to blame if you’re watching the footie rather than running up a description of a devilish antagonist.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all done that – too many times.

Have you ever had a brilliant idea or a burning ambition, only to watch it fizzle out and fade away?

It’s a tale as old as time. We all have dreams, but without a concrete plan, they often slip through our fingers like sand.

The power of Smart goals

That’s where Smart goals come in.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound

Yeah, I know. Another acronym. Another hectoring set of rules you should be following.

But Smart goals are the bully, they’re the anti-bully. They’re the things that will get you moving.

They provide the structure and clarity needed to turn your aspirations into reality. In this blog post, we’ll explore the power of Smart goals and how they can revolutionize your approach to achieving success.

So, what exactly are Smart goals? Smart is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These five elements work together like a well-oiled machine to help you set clear, meaningful, and attainable objectives. Let’s break it down.

S for Specific

First up, we have “S” for Specific. Have you ever set a vague goal like “I want to write a book”? The problem with such goals is that they lack focus and direction. Being specific means identifying exactly what you want to achieve.

So, instead of saying “I want to write a book,” you could say “I want to write a genre thriller that introduces a character that will make a series.” See the difference? The more specific you are, the easier it becomes to create a roadmap to your destination.

M for Measurable

Next, we have “M” for Measurable. Measurable goals are like checkpoints on your journey. They allow you to track your progress and determine whether you’re moving in the right direction. It’s crucial to establish concrete criteria to measure your success. Going back to our running example, you could measure your progress by tracking the number of miles you run each week or by monitoring your running pace. Having measurable goals keeps you accountable and motivated.

A for Achievable

Now, let’s move on to “A” for Achievable. It’s important to set goals that are within your reach. While it’s great to dream big, setting unrealistic objectives can be demoralising and counterproductive.

Be honest with yourself and consider your current circumstances, resources, and capabilities. Maybe write a 20-book series isn’t feasible, but writing a short story to win a competition and get your name known is a better option. Remember, success breeds more success!

R for Relevant

The next letter in our acronym is “R” for Relevant. When setting goals, it’s crucial to ensure they align with your overall aspirations, values, and priorities.

Ask yourself: Does this goal contribute to my long-term vision? Is it meaningful to me? If the answer is yes, then you’re on the right track. What is it you actually want to achieve? Connecting your goals to your passions and interests will give you that extra boost of motivation to push through challenges and stay on course.

T for Timebound

Last but not least, we have “T” for Time-bound. Goals without deadlines often get pushed aside or forgotten. Setting a specific timeframe creates a sense of urgency and helps you stay focused. Break your goals down into smaller, manageable chunks with clear deadlines.

Going back to our 20-book series, then chunking the project into smaller time-bound targets will keep you accountable and prevent procrastination.

Why Smart Goals are Important

  1. Clarity and focus: Smart writing goals provide clarity, ensuring that you have a clear direction and understanding of what you want to achieve as a writer.
  2. Motivation and commitment: Smart goals increase motivation by breaking down larger writing goals into smaller, achievable milestones. This sense of progress fuels motivation and commitment to the writing process.
  3. Progress tracking: By incorporating measurable criteria, Smart goals allow you to track your writing progress, celebrate milestones, and make necessary adjustments along the way. You can monitor your word count, chapters completed, or even reader feedback.
  4. Effective planning: Smart writing goals provide a framework for effective planning and resource allocation. They help you prioritize writing sessions, allocate time, and optimize your creative efforts.
  5. Accountability and success: One of the key benefits of Smart goals is the built-in accountability they provide. When you set specific, measurable, and time-bound goals, you create a framework for holding yourself accountable to your writing aspirations. By establishing deadlines and measurable criteria, you create a system of checks and balances that keeps you on track.

So, there you have it – the magic of Smart goals. By incorporating these five elements into your goal-setting process, you’ll be well-equipped to turn your dreams into reality.

Remember to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Trust me, once you start setting Smart goals, you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make.

Are you still thrown by the acronym? Sometimes, you end up turning the Smart goals into the whip-wielding monster, like trying to fill in a form that doesn’t meet your needs.

Try this:

Smart goals without the acronym

Here’s an alternative process for creating Smart goals without directly referencing the Smart elements:

  1. Define your objective: Start by clearly defining the specific outcome or result you want to achieve. Be specific and precise about what you aim to accomplish.
  2. Set measurable criteria: Determine how you will measure your progress and success towards your objective. Identify quantifiable indicators or milestones that can track your advancement.
  3. Assess feasibility: Evaluate the feasibility and attainability of your goal. Consider your available resources, skills, and potential obstacles. Ensure that your goal is realistically achievable.
  4. Align with purpose: Reflect on the relevance and alignment of your goal with your overarching purpose, values, and long-term aspirations. Ensure that your goal contributes meaningfully to your overall growth and objectives.
  5. Establish a timeframe: Set a specific timeframe or deadline for achieving your goal. Define a target date that creates a sense of urgency and helps you stay focused on completing the necessary actions.
  6. Break it down: Break your goal into smaller, actionable steps or milestones. Identify the key tasks, actions, or sub-goals required to make progress towards your ultimate objective.
  7. Write it down: Document your goal in a clear and concise statement. Use language that articulates the desired outcome, relevant measurements, feasibility, alignment, and timeframe.
  8. Develop an action plan: Create a detailed action plan that outlines the specific tasks, resources, and timelines needed to accomplish each step or milestone. This plan will provide a roadmap for achieving your goal.
  9. Regularly review and adjust: Continuously review your progress, reassess the relevance of your goal, and make adjustments as needed. Celebrate achievements along the way and modify your plan to stay on track.