5 Tips: Goal Setting

I’m sure many of you have heard before the SMART or SMARTER goals and for those who don’t, it is basically a model on how one should go about setting goals. So why is it so important for one to set goals? Here’s a simple analogy. Would a pilot know where to land without giving him/her a destination? Did you know that when a plane is on auto pilot mode towards its destination, various wind speeds and weather conditions would force it to go off course for at least 70% of the journey? And it is because of the fixed end destination; the plane can then recalculate and adjust its flight panels to get it back on track so that it can land at its destination.  Therefore, doesn’t it make sense that we should also set clear goals, so that we can reach where we eventually want to be no matter how rough the journey is? Not setting or even writing down goals is as bad as being the captain of a plane with no direction! So what if you have big engines and wings (Read: talent and resilience) but no direction? It’s time to get on track today!

Almost every day, we are faced with distractions that can push us off course and it is a must for us to be back on track as soon as possible so that we won’t end up somewhere else. With that, I will explain in this article on how to set SMART goals! Just for this article, there won’t be any 5 tips but I’ll explain what S.M.A.R.T means individually, which is coincidentally 5 tips as well!

S – Stands for SPECIFIC. It refers to what exactly do you want to achieve at the end, and like what it represents, it has to be specific. Don’t set goals like, “Quit Smoking” or “Watch Diet” instead set something like “3 cigarettes a day for next 2 months.” or “Workout at ABC gym for 4 days a week.” It is also important to answer certain questions like what do you want to accomplished, where it can be done, when it will be done and why it is a must.

M – Stands for MEASURABLE. Your goal can never be realized if there are no means to track your progress. By giving yourself a certain deadline, you can then properly plan your activities to be in line with your goals. Do not be overzealous; a practical deadline should always be taken into consideration. An example of an overzealous goal would be “Stop smoking forever by end of this week” or “Burn 10kg in 2 weeks” Ask yourself questions like how much, how many or how do I know when I have attained my goals?

A – Stands for Attainble. When we commit ourselves to achieving our goals, we constantly upgrade and develop attitudes, skills and knowledge which enable us to go further. Avoid setting goals that are too farfetched which will result in you not committing to it. Even though you set it with the best of intentions, being too intensive will deter you from taking actions towards your goals.

R – Stands for Realistic. This word needs a little emphasis as it will be misinterpreted easily. Basically, it doesn’t mean that one should set something too easy like “Stop smoking for a day” or “stop snacking for a day”. These are realistic, yes, but it doesn’t help in anything does it? It means that the goals should be achievable and there’s a learning process behind it. Also, setting unrealistic goals will often put across a negative effect that you are incapable and that’s something you definitely do not want.

T – Stands for Timely. Setting a time for your goals is definitely a must. Else, how would we ever know when we want to achieve it? Setting a time frame also brings in the element of urgency and urges you to be committed as there is a deadline to it. This will also allow you to keep track of your progress and know how far off you are away from achieving your goals.

The SMART goal setting template is good for starters and should be taken into consideration each time you set yourself to achieve something. I strongly urge everyone to put up one of these SMART goals in your bedroom so as to remind yourself daily on what is required to be done. Winners plan for the next day’s events while loser come home to slouch and forget about their goals. Be ambitious when setting your goals but at the same time make sure it is realistic and attainable. With that, I wish you all the best in your goal setting and may success be with you!

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