When it comes to accomplishing goals, there are times we get in our own way by making excuses. But how do we move beyond it and get back on track?
It begins with knowing what got us here in the first place.
We usually make excuses for things we don’t want to do, or we don’t feel we are capable of doing.
It’s no secret: The answer is to learn to do things differently. The SMART way.
SMART is an acronym that represents a framework for creating effective goals.
It stands for five qualities your goals should have when you want to accomplish something.
S = Specific.
Decide what you want and make your goals specific. When you are setting a goal, remember that the more specific you are, the more likely you are to achieve your goal.
When setting a goal ask yourself the following questions:
- Who: Who is involved?
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Identify a location.
- When: Establish a time frame.
- Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
- Why: Outline your specific reasons, purpose or benefits of the goal.
The more specific the goal, the more likely you are to make it happen.
M = measurable.
Now that you have a specific goal your task is to make it measurable so you can more easily track your progress. You can achieve this by writing things down, keeping a journal, or listing them in a calendar. Any of these methods is a great way to keep track of your efforts and results. When you measure your progress, it will keep you on track, and then you will be able to reach your target dates.
To determine if your goal is measurable, you can ask yourself:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
Keep measuring and holding yourself accountable to stay on track.
A = attainable.
You want to make sure that the goal you have set can actually be achieved–otherwise, you’ll begin to make excuses all over again. Sometimes making your goals achievable is all about an attitude adjustment. if you are always feeling challenged, think of ways that you can overcome your challenges; if you are always making excuses, think of ways to stay positive. Every goal comes with challenges, but it’s moving past the challenges and excuses that will help you achieve your goal. To ensure you’re setting a goal that is attainable, it is important to develop the necessary attitude and determination that you can do this. Set yourself up for success, so do what you have to do to adjust your attitude and ensure you meet your goals.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How will I accomplish my goal?
- What do I need to succeed, based on constraints and obstacles?
- Is my attitude positive or negative?
- What is my mindset; is it fixed or flexible?
R = relevant.
Does this goal represent an objective that makes sense in the context of what you want to achieve? It is important to consider how your goal fits with other plans. Conflicting plans can create problems and will immediately have you making excuses. If your goal is relevant to your life, do what you need to do to accomplish it. If it doesn’t fit well with your other plans, ask yourself where you need to make revisions.
This is a good time to revisit and ask yourself:
- Does this seem worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this match our other efforts and needs?
- Am I the right person to reach this goal?
T = timely.
Every serious goal should have a deadline, and every accomplished goal should be grounded within a time frame. With there is no time frame tied to a goal, there’s usually no sense of urgency. Saying “I will do it someday” does not make it happen today.
You can ask yourself:
- When will I get this done?
- How long will it take me?
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
- What is keeping me stuck from completing the task?
Whatever you’re hoping to achieve, remember to be SMART about it. When your goal is set and it’s specific and measurable and attainable, you will get it done well and on time.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
THE LEADERSHIP GAP
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.