SMARTTER Goals: The Roadmap to SuccessAuthor: Steven Schwartz, PhD Date: December 24, 2019
If you have a chronic health condition, or if you're caring for a loved one who does, your time is at a premium. But even though your time is limited, setting goals for the future is an important part of self-care.
Whether it’s advancing in your career, leading a healthier lifestyle, better managing your finances, or developing closer relationships with your loved ones, goals can provide a sense of purpose. Research has shown that those with strong plans for attaining goals are two to three times more likely to achieve them. Our SMARTTER goals framework can help you forge a plan and increase your chances of success.
A SMARTTER Goal Framework
S – Specific
Clearly specify what you want to achieve and when you’d like to complete your goal. Be focused on what you want to achieve and why. Thinking about the details and defining a path to the end goal will give you direction.
M – Measurable
Measure your achievement. This can help motivate you and alert you if you are not progressing toward your goal the way you might like. How you measure your achievement might depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, if your goal is to quit smoking, you might measure by counting the times you reach for a substitute such as sugar-free gum or hard candy rather than a cigarette when you get the urge to smoke.
A – Attainable
Create sub-goals that help you achieve the main goal. Often, goals are set too high, which can affect attainability and lead to discouragement. Try breaking larger goals into smaller pieces to make them more achievable. When you give yourself more opportunities for success you build momentum toward the larger, more intimidating goals.
R – Relevant
Make sure your goals are relevant to what you want to achieve. Your goal will be important to you, and to accomplish it, you might have to make some sacrifices. Making sure your goals are relevant to you and your values can help you maintain control, giving you a greater sense of satisfaction.
T – Track
Track your progress on a regular basis. Whether you use a simple calendar to track your success, or create a to-do list — make sure you can assess the key steps of your plan so that you can review changes toward or away from your goal.
T – Time-bound
Determine when goals should be achieved. Setting milestones can help you evaluate when goals should be achieved or revised. This can help ensure you’re progressing toward your goals or making the necessary corrections to stay on track.
E – Evaluate
Understand what is working and what isn’t. Take the time to evaluate your progress and determine if you need to revise your plan toward achievement.
R – Reinforce, Revise, Replace
Be prepared to revise and replace goals when circumstances change. The path to achieving goals is rarely a straight line. You can revise your goals if they are too easy or too hard to accomplish — or replace them if they are achieved or no longer relevant.
The table below provides examples of incomplete goals and how to make them SMARTTER.
1. Clear, Jame. Atomic Habits. Penguin Publishing Group, 2018
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