Have you heard of “SMART” goals?
The acronym is used in lots of business settings, but it can be super-helpful in getting our mindset right when setting personal goals, too.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Those are all important. But let’s focus now on just the first one: specific. It means well-defined, clear, and unambiguous. And it’s first for a reason.
Simply put, if our goals are not specific, we’re highly unlikely to reach them.
Consider this vague, non-specific goal: “I want to lose weight.”
Well, what does that mean? How much?? Why do you want it? Can you define it with a specific statement – maybe something like …
“I want to maintain a healthy weight, which seems to be between XXX pounds and XXX pounds, so I can enjoy tennis, keep my blood pressure down, and feel confident at the beach.”
Vague isn’t strong enough to motivate you through the tough times, or to help you track your progress.
But with a specific target that’s supported by your values and real life, you can motivate yourself meaningfully on those tough days. You can measure how you’re doing and make any necessary adjustments to move forward. You can enjoy the process more.
By knowing specifically what you want, and why, you’ll be able to stay focused and resist distractions. And a specific goal is also more likely to be measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
You know: SMART.