How to Set Smart Goals in Life
A Man Wanted to Spend a Nice Holiday
He set out on a vacation. However, he did not plan where he wanted to go on vacation. As he began his journey he realized how clueless he was about his directions. After all, there was no specific destination to go to. But he decided to move on. He used the train to somewhere and then the bus to somewhere else. Soon he realized that it was a stupid idea to spend a vacation without a proper holiday place in mind. He came back home.
1. Vacation Time
He decided to try a vacation second time. This time he remembered that it would be better to decide a place beforehand. So he decided that he would love to go a city that had the best beach. The sea had always attracted him. The idea of sitting comfortably under the sun, feeling the cool breeze of the sea and the soothing sound of the waves, excited him. He finds a relevant city on the map and sets out on the journey. This time there is no hesitation about the directions and transportations he took. He felt very happy. ( Live Happier with Positive Thoughts )
However, upon reaching his city he found out that the weather had taken a furious turn to thunder and rain. It rained non-stop for the whole duration of his vacation. He came back home dejected.
He decided to give vacation one final shot. He planned a proper destination for his vacation, just like last time. But he did not stop there. He made sure that it was the best time of the year to visit that place and that there was no threat of bad weather. Once again he set out on his journey. This time he faced no fateful event that spoilt his holiday. He was happy to spend days near the beach just relaxing. It was a great vacation.
Most of you would agree that it was a stupid idea to have no destination for holiday (first try) or to not check the weather before planning the vacation (second try). After all, who leaves for a holiday without knowing the destination? Who does not make sure that the weather is most relevant for a holiday?
2. Setting Smart Goals = Planning a good vacation
It is an irony that while most of us give our best shot in planning our vacations without leaving anything to chance, we leave the broader picture of life to chance. ( How to Maintain Momentum in Life )
Just as it seems stupid to have no destination or to miss out the important factors (like weather) while going for a holiday, it is hundreds of times more important to have goals in life. And not just any goals (just like the second vacation with the bad weather), goals that bring out the best in you. Goals that ensure that you live your life the best way you can.
Those goals are your “smart goals”.
Setting smart goals give you a good chance to do your best at life. Just like considering all the important factors (like weather, destination for holiday) ensure that your holiday is most enjoyable and relaxing. Miss out any of the important factors in your goal (if you make any goal at all), and you are doomed to failure.
So what are the characteristics of Smart Goals?
Characteristics of Smart Goals
A. Smart Goals are aligned with your “Deepest Values”.
Every individual has a set of values that is most important to him/her. Here’s a short list of most common values people find important. Love, compassion, honesty, integrity, oneness, kindness, courage, truthfulness etc. The list can go on and on.
Do these resonate with you? Do you have a few of your own values that you hold most dear?
Your Smart goal must include these values. This means that your goal must be in harmony with your most important values. This ensures that you feel aligned with these principles while taking action for your goals.
B. Smart Goals must be aligned with your Passion
Are you passionate about something in life? Maybe you want to help the poor or teach orphan kids or set up a multi-million business or ______ (fill it with your own passion).
You smart goals must take you closer to fulfilling your passion.
C. Smart Goals add meaning to your life
We all have a mental list of what we consider most important in life. For some it is family. Others value career success, financial success and other forms of success. Many value peace in life. Bottom-line is that we all have a priority list of what will add meaning to our lives.
If you’re wondering what things are on your priority list, answer this simple question. When you reach the end of your life and reflect on how you lived your life, what will give you the most satisfaction? What will you want as an old man?
It is obvious but important to state that your smart goals should add meaning to your life. This is done by accomplishing what you consider truly important in life. Like taking care of family, excelling at your career etc. Your smart goals should target these achievements.
3. Action Plan
Here is a simple action plan to help you set smart goals in life. ( Tips To Achieve Your Goals )
- List your top five values in life.
- Write a paragraph long description of your passion in life.
- Write down the top ten things that add meaning to your life (in order of priority)
Once you have completed all the three steps above, you can use these answers to set smart goals. Whether you aim to plan a long term goal or a smaller goal for the weekend, you should always aim to align the goal with these answers.
“Any goal that is in harmony with your answers is a smart goal for you. “ Because it takes you closer to what is important to you. It is your well planned beach vacation.