Making Resolutions or Setting Goals
Whenever I set resolutions, then later as the year progresses, I can’t remember what I resolved to do. Thus, I’ve come to realize New Year’s resolutions just aren’t something I’m suited to carry out very well.
However, I would never discourage others from pursuing their passion by setting and achieving their resolutions. I would like to suggest to those of you who are like me and find it hard to accomplish New Year Resolutions to consider goal setting instead. In fact, there is a relatively new concept in goal setting I’d like to introduce to you called “S.M.A.R.T. goal”. CLICK HERE to use our free ” S.M.A.R.T. goal” worksheet to complete your financial goals.
“S.M.A.R.T. goal” worksheet is designed around the secret of alleviating project challenges by setting a specific goal or goals. “S.M.A.R.T. goal” provides structure and guidance throughout a goal setting project and better identifies what you want to accomplish. This method is especially effective with helping students set goals that align with their education.
It was Introduced in 1981 by George T. Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company, as a tool to create criteria to help improve the chances of succeeding in accomplishing a goal.
The S.M.A.R.T. acronym stands for:
S – Specific
When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. Think about this as the mission statement for your goal. This isn’t a detailed list of how you’re going to meet a goal, but it should include an answer to the popular ‘w’ questions:
- Who – Consider who needs to be involved to achieve the goal. This is especially important when you’re working on a group project.
- What – Think about exactly what you are trying to accomplish and don’t be afraid to get very detailed.
- When – You’ll get more specific about this question under the “time-bound” section of defining S.M.A.R.T. goals, but you should at least set a time frame.
- Where – This question may not always apply, especially if you’re setting personal goals; but if there’s a location or relevant event, identify it here.
- Which – Determine any related obstacles or requirements. This question can be beneficial in deciding if your goal is realistic. For example, if the goal is to open a baking business; but you’ve never baked anything before, that might be an issue. As a result, you may refine the specifics of the goal to be “Learn how to bake in order to open a baking”
- Why – What is the reason for the goal? When it comes to using this method for employees, the answer will likely be along the lines of company advancement or career development.
M – Measurable
What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress. If it’s a project that’s going to take a few months to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish.
A – Achievable
This focuses on how important a goal is to you and what you can do to make it attainable and may require developing new skills and changing attitudes. The goal is meant to inspire motivation, not discouragement. Think about how to accomplish the goal and if you have the tools/skills needed. If you don’t currently possess those tools/skills, consider what it would take to attain them.
R – Relevant
Relevance refers focusing on something that makes sense with the broader business goals. For example, if the goal is to launch a new product, it should be something that’s in alignment with the overall business objectives. Your team may be able to launch a new consumer product, but if your company is a Business to Business Service that is not expanding into the consumer market, then the goal wouldn’t be relevan
T – Time-Bound
Anyone can set goals, but if it lacks realistic timing, chances are you’re not going to succeed. Providing a target date for deliverables is imperative. Ask specific questions about the goal deadline and what can be accomplished within that time period. If the goal will take three months to complete, it’s useful to define what should be achieved half-way through the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.
The Easiest Way to Write S.M.A.R.T. goals
When it comes to writing S.M.A.R.T. goals, be prepared to ask yourself and others a lot of questions. The answers will help fine-tune your strategy, ensuring the goals are something that are actually attainable. While you should be as realistic as possible, it’s important to approach writing S.M.A.R.T. goals with a positive attitude. After all, this is something that YOU want to achieve.
This doesn’t have to be a daunting experience; in fact, it should be quite illuminating.
Sample Goal: I want to improve my financial savings
- Specific: I gave myself low marks on my ability to save and manage my personal finances. Improving my personal money skills requires that I learn how to consistently seek out ways to manage my personal money management abilities. I’d like to be more proficient in my money management skills in the next financial review I do in six months.
- Measurable: By the time of my next financial review, I should be able to show a growth in my finances leading towards a minimum of 25% growth in finances. I should also be able to explain the steps I took to show this financial growth.
- Achievable: Improving my personal money management skills is instrumental in moving forward in my life and my growth towards financial freedom. I can set time aside every week to at a minimum read the freefinlit101.com post I will receive in my email that can teach me new money management skills. I can also research other sources for money management tips.
- Relevant: Becoming a skilled money manager is 100% my job. As I improve with my money management skills, I need to seek out another way I can increase my ability to grow my money. I enjoy saving my money and want to learn the smartest ways to earn, save, share, invest and spend.
- Time-Bound: In six months, I should become proficient enough in ways to manage my personal money to know that I’m well on my way to achieving my first S.M.A.R.T. financial goal.
Once you go through and write your goals per each S.M.A.R.T. characteristic, you can then combine and consolidate all the work you’ve done into one S.M.A.R.T. goal.
S.M.A.R.T. goal: I want to improve my financial savings
Description: To grow my savings, I need to improve my personal money management skills. By reading online freefinlit101.com posts, I’ll improve my personal money management skills so that can save 25% more this year than I saved last year.
- Milestone: Follow and read freefinlit101.com post over the course of three months.
- Deadline: Follow up review of my finances in six months. Establishing Clarity Around Success and Failure
Just like everything else, S.M.A.R.T. goals can change. Someone might ask you to write a SMARTER Goal. This acronym adds Evaluate and Re-Do. The idea behind this is you should constantly be evaluating your goals and re-setting them as needed. Financial situations change, personal goals evolve, so maybe a goal you set six months ago no longer makes sense.
Whether you write S.M.A.R.T. or SMARTER goals, you’ll find that having some clarity about what you want to achieve financially can make all the difference between success and failure.
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