The SMART Goal acronym provides structure for effective goal setting. By using the SMART goal setting technique, I am creating an easy to follow roadmap that increases my likelihood of achieving my goal.
The best way to promote world peace is by cultivating inner peace. To cultivate inner peace we must pay extra close attention to our internal experience. Being the change you want to see in the world is about working on yourself first and foremost. To inspire others to make a better world the best thing we can do is lead by example.
If advancing world peace truly is on your goals list, then do humanity a favor and set yourself up for success by implementing SMART goals! (click here to jump to the SMART GOAL system)
One of the big difference between humans and all of the other animals comes down to our ability to set and accomplish goals. We must know what is missing, understand how to attain it, and we must learn more and more about anything in our way of attaining it. Humans learn from the past and plan for the future. GOAL setting is about bringing order to that process.
Our third ingredient for world peace is responsibility. It is easy to use a victim mentality to explain why I do not have the things I want in life. When operating in the victim mentality, circumstances happen to me rather than me happening to the circumstances. This is NOT the place we are going to successfully accomplish goals. When setting goals we focus on what we can control, not what is controlling us.
When it comes down to it, awareness is really our ultimate responsibility. I would venture to say that the more awareness we have, the more happiness and positivity we have because it is with awareness that we can take action to fix what we don’t like about our lives and appreciate what we do! And the more happiness and positivity we have the more we are promoting world peace!
This is where SMART goal setting comes in… In order to set a goal you have to be aware of what you want. The SMART acronym is a system that provides awareness of how to set a goal in such a way that you are more likely to achieve it and to bring more of what you want in life into your life.
So, without further adieu, here is simple breakdown of the simple SMART Goal Setting system.
Specific – A goal needs to be clear and laser focused. Rather than saying “I will travel more” a specific goal would be “I will visit Italy, France, Fiji, Japan, and New Zealand”.
Measurable – It must be clear when you attain your goal. To simply set a goal of “I will be more healthy” does not make it obvious if you have hit your goal. Measurable would be things like “I will lower my cholesterol by 10 points, release 20 lbs, lower my body fat percentage by 5%,”
Attainable – I love football but it is not possible that I am going to be a starting Quarterback, or any other position, in the NFL no matter how badly I want the goal or how hard I dedicate myself. Thinking positively is not about turning a blind eye to reality. There are limits in life and some of them are found in the physical realm. An attainable goal means one that is possible… not to be confused with probable. Be careful not to aim your goals too low under the pretense that what you really want is not attainable… you are capable of incredible things! Just not impossible things… if you have any doubt of whether something is impossible, then it probably isn’t!
Risky – A goal worth committing to is a risky goal! Staying comfortable will get you what you already have. Taking a risk means growth. A risk does not necessarily mean jumping off of a cliff, although it could. It means that you are stretching, getting uncomfortable, and facing your perceived limitations head on! When we create goals that are risky, we create goals that get us excited to accomplish them. Maintaining our focus to see a goal through needs all the help it can get!
Timely – When are you going to have your goal completed by? This also falls in line with the concept of the goal being measurable. You must know when you hit your goal. If you want to quit smoking but you give yourself an unlimited amount of time you will never have to face the fact that you are not accomplishing your goal. Time will support you in holding yourself accountable.
Also note that the concept of attainable plays into time setting. If you have never played piano before and you want to be able to play Ravel Scarbo’s Gaspard de la Nuit, then you better set the goal to expire in longer than a day….
Let’s run through an example implementation of a SMART Goal to see this system in action!
Let’s start with an example goal that is NOT a using the SMART goal system: “I want to be happier”
It is a worthy goal for sure. But see how we can actually better achieve that goal with this system.
Specific – There is nothing very specific about “being happier”. So right off the bat we see that by being specific we must look deeper within and further our understanding of what we really want. For this example, let us assume that it makes us happier to play guitar. So our goal now shifts from the vagueness of “being happier” to the more specific goal of “Playing guitar”.
Measurable – how much guitar would make us happy? Without a measurable aspect to this goal how will we know if we are going it more or less than we used to? Figuring out how to turn a goal into something measurable can be challenging so once again we must dig deeper into our goal. What are we really after when we say we want to “play guitar”? For this example, let’s say we want to play a particular song, like, “Classical Gas”.
Attainable – “Classical Gas”?!?! What was I thinking?!?! This song is master level hard and I am a beginner! Well attainable doesn’t mean it won’t be hard. Can I learn to play that song? If it’s possible, then it’s attainable! Attainable in no way shape or form means you need to limit yourself.
Risky – Sure I could have picked a goal like “learn a new scale”. And that is surely a worthy goal. But the risk in that is minimal. Whereas committing to a full song… well that has a clearer success and failure dichotomy. Learning 8 notes of a new scale is important but will it excite me the same way learning one of my favorite songs would? At the end of the goal will I feel like I really accomplished something great that I wanted?
Timely – What’s a realistic timeline to accomplish this goal? Make it too short and you are hurting your chances of success. Make it too long and you risk running out of motivation before you get there. And without a timeline attached the goal’s end date is infinity. That’s too long. You can do it before then.
So that is the SMART Goal Setting technique in a nutshell. Start, or continue, to bring about world peace by setting SMART goals! What are some of your goals? We would love for you to share them through the lens of this SMART technique goal setting technique! Leave a comment below to join the conversation
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