Sunday, January 13, 2013

   Happy New Year!

SUPER SMART your goals for  2013!

And with the new year comes the time to determine what you plan to accomplish by year-end and beyond. Most of us were taught at one time or another that we should write “SMART” Goals. Setting SMART goals is a good start, however, it is not enough. Today, we need to take SMART Goals to the next level. We need to SUPER SMART our goals.
Now you might be trying to remember what the SMART acronym letters represent:     
                 S  pecific
                 M easurable
                  A   ction-oriented
                  R   ealistic
                 T    imely

According to the SMART Goal Setting Process, well-defined goals are SPECIFIC.  You know exactly what it is that you need to accomplish.  They are MEASURABLE.  You know “how much” you need to achieve. This way you know when you have “gotten there”. They are ACTION-ORIENTED which means they are written using some sort of action verb that indicates what you are going to do.  SMART Goals are REALISTIC and RELEVANT.  They have to be within your reach, although you do want to be sure you have put some “stretch” into them and they must be relevant.  They must be moving you in the direction of achieving your dream.  Finally, SMART goals have a Time-component linked to them.  They are not open-ended.
As mentioned, SMART Goals are a good start. The problem with traditional SMART Goal Setting is that it does not go far enough.  If you are not careful, you can go through the process and establish goals that are “safe and guaranteed”.  You want to be sure that you are including true stretch into your goals. You may also be setting goals that do not have a real connection to your longer term vision or dreams.  In many cases you may not perceive the real impact that goal achievement can have on you personally. And, finally, you may not have incorporated interim reviews or “mini-goals” to ensure you are making necessary progress.
When defining your SMART Goals in a “SUPER SMART” way and use the following, you will take your goals setting to the next level and increase the chances of accomplishing, even exceeding them:
             S pecific using all of your Senses
          M easurable with Milestones
                    A ction-oriented in Attack Mode
                    R ealistic with Reach
                   T ime-defined focused on the Target
                                                                                                      © IMPACT Learning Inc. 2011
When setting your goals, not only do you need to make them specific with the who, what, how much and when, you also need to be able to picture the outcome using all of your senses.  You want to visualize exactly what the outcome will look and feel like.  Picture it using all of your senses.  You may want to draw it or have a photo of what the outcome will look like.  What will you hear others say when you accomplish it?  What will you say?   By visualizing the achievement of your goal, you make its outcome more real to you.
In general, when asked to make goals measureable, most people can do it.  For example a common goal many folks share is to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year. The problem is they set that same goal at the beginning of every year, never accomplishing it.  As you establish the way you will measure the success of your goal, be sure you have included some milestones along the way so that you are monitoring your progress along the way.  By monitoring your progress, you can determine whether you are on track and make appropriate adjustments as necessary to ensure your success.
Goals need to include the action you will take to achieve them.  You need to be sure that you are “attacking” them with a sense of focus, enthusiasm and urgency. 
If you goals are not realistic and relevant, you will set yourself up for failure.  However, you also need to be sure that there is some reach incorporated into your goals.  You want to have some stretch.   People will always strive to achieve a goal.  When you have to reach just a little farther, you will find that you will work a little harder and smarter to get there.
Finally, incorporating time oriented deadlines is key to ensuring you will reach your goal in a timely manner.  By keeping the target visible and in front of you, it will help you to maintain focus.  Just like an archer will keep the bulls eye in focus, you also need to have a visual reminder of your target.  Post your goals in a place you can see them everyday and be reminded so you can stay focused.
By taking your SMART Goals to the next level - “SUPER SMART”- you will find that you can accomplish amazing things and faster than imagined.