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How To Set Smart Goals (The Ultimate Guide)

Goals are crucial to your progress, and progress is what helps you find meaning and satisfaction in life. Therefore, the importance of goals just cannot be denied.

This is why goal-setting has become such an essential part of self-development. In fact, it is the first thing you will hear from a self-help coach (in case you decide to listen to one!).

So, why are goals so important?

And if they are so important, how can you make sure that you employ the perfect strategy for setting goals that will help you unleash your true potential?

Well, that’s exactly what we will discuss in this blog post. This one is going to be super helpful for you no matter what your career path is, or what stage of life you are at. So, make sure you take notes.

Vintage typewriter - Goal

WHY IS SETTING GOALS IMPORTANT?

Here are a few solid reasons that would convince you why it is so important that you set goals in your life.

FINDING DIRECTION & MEANING:

The first reason for goal setting is pretty evident. It's the direction that goals give you.

Unless you don’t have a direction in life, all your work or efforts are in vain. Your goals give you clarity and focus about what’s important and what’s not.

Secondly, goals also help you find meaning in your mundane day-to-day tasks. Sometimes the work we do is so boring, yet we keep at it just because we have our minds fixated on the fascinating end goal.

MONITORING YOUR PROGRESS:

We are more likely to stick to a path, an activity or a task if we feel we are making some headway. This is because we thrive on progress, expansion and growth.

Goals help you track that progress.

They help you understand how far you've come from the first step and assess how well you have performed.

Lady Jotting Notes in a Notebook Adjacent to a Teacup and Tablet Device

GETTING RID OF PROCRASTINATION:

Procrastination is when we know we have to do something, but we instead waste our time on other, less important activities.

Procrastination is the number 1 killer of productivity, and it’s something every one of us battles every now and then.

Goals that are urgent and exciting can assist you in curbing your tendency to procrastinate. Since your mind will perceive those goals as something important and urgent to take care of, it is more likely to warn you about the repercussions of delaying the task at hand.

This is why your goals need to be such that they encourage you to take action.

One such goal-setting strategy is called SMART goals.

WHAT ARE SMART GOALS? (SMART GOALS EXAMPLES)

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Let me try to explain these five components through a SMART goal example that you will be able to relate with too.

SPECIFIC:

This implies that your goal has to be very precise. You can’t (or shouldn’t) just say, “I want to lose weight.” That’s not a goal, really. That’s just a statement.

To make it a SMART goal, you have to add detail to it like: how much weight do you lose? 5 pounds? 20 pounds?

Ideally, Allocate a number to your goal, and it will become more specific.

MEASURABLE:

Next, your goal should be measurable. Continuing our example of losing weight, when you would have set a goal of, let's say, losing 20 pounds, you would want to be able to measure it too.

If you didn’t add the specificity to the goal, you wouldn’t be able to measure it, so of course, there is no way you would know if you achieved that goal or not.

ACHIEVABLE:

Our mind is our companion when it comes to the game achieving our goals. When we set goals that are too easy, our mind is least bothered simply because they are just too easy. What’s the fun in that?

But when you set goals that are too out there or even impossible (like losing 100 pounds once), your mind gets overwhelmed with a giant task like that.

So, you have to have a SMART goal that’s achievable for you, or your brain will be the first one to revolt against it!

Black-and-White Target Board Signifying Accuracy with Arrow

RELEVANT:

The SMART goal you set should be in balance with your other life goals. For instance, if you want to lose 20 pounds, this goal must be able to coexist with other goals you have, like being healthy and active or looking younger.

You can’t have goals that contradict each other; otherwise, you won’t get anywhere with your goal-setting methodology.

TIME-BOUND:

SMART goals are time bound. If you want to lose 20 pounds, you must have an anchoring time frame for this goal.

I’m sure your aim is not to shed 20 pounds in the next 20 years or whenever it's possible. So, without a specific time frame, a goal makes no sense. This is why all SMART goals are time bound.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF ACHIEVING YOUR SMART GOALS?

Now we have come to the most interesting part. This is about how you can crush the goals you have set for yourself using the SMART goal strategy.

Dr. Tara Swart Bieber, a Ph.D. neuroscientist and former senior lecturer at MIT, recommends visually setting up your goals on a vision board (she calls these action boards).

In one of her recent podcasts, she revealed that she has been setting up vision boards for her yearly goals for about a decade now, and she has almost accomplished everything that she put on that board.

I love and use vision boards myself, but when a scientist vouches for them, that’s when you get even more confident about your technique.

How To Set Smart Goals (the Ultimate Guide) | The Vision Cloud

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Keeping this life-changing information in view, we (me and my company — Vision Cloud) have created a fantastic vision board kit for you. This kit includes:

  • Incredible, HD images that you can choose from and pick the ones that depict your goals
  • A deck of positive affirmations, you can select ones that resonate with your life vision
  • Fun stickers that will bring up your vision board to life

When you combine the images, affirmations and stickers, you will have a vision board that will match your needs and aspirations.

This vision board will help you focus on what's most important in your life and will motivate you to take inspired action toward those goals.

Setting goals is half the job, the real game begins when you take inspired action toward the goals that you chose for yourself, and this vision board is going to be your best friend in that regard. 

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