Goal setting is how many of us seek to make changes in our daily life. These can be something such as quitting smoking or stopping drinking. Others have goals where they want to lose a few pounds or to get back in physical shape.
We have all made some goals in our lives. Sometimes these occur at the beginning of a new calendar year. In those cases, we call them resolutions. Regardless of what we call them these are the new changes we want to make in order to make our lives more productive or overall better.
Strategic Goal Setting
Here is the caveat to that. In order for us to achieve a goal we will need to be strategic in implementing that goal. What this typically means is that we need to create a system in order to achieve that goal. This system will involve a plan. No goal is ever accomplished without creating some type of plan to achieve it.
Once the plan is in place then you need to go about exercising that strategy and taking the necessary steps in order to implement those steps to achieve that goal. This is done by having what I call a SMARRTY goal. For those of you who have heard of SMART goals, this is similar to that both with two additional steps which is part of the “Y” and the second “R”.
For those who have not heard of a SMART goal then read on.
Here is the breakdown the acronym SMARRTY when it comes to goal setting.
S – Specific
The first character is the “S”. The S stands for Specific. This means you must be very exact when you are setting a goal. It means you need to be very specific in your goal setting. This means you must come up with an exact value.
This means you should not be generic in your values.
What I mean by this is that when you use generic words like “more” or “less” then you are being very generic. If your goal is to make “more” money then you will achieve that goal when you look at the ground and found a penny. Goal achieved.
Or, if you have a weight goal and your goal is to “weigh less” then you achieved your goal the first moment you go the bathroom or you lost 0.1 pounds.
You see, the brain is very picture oriented. it can not get a handle on generic concepts. It needs concrete pictures to get behind what it is that you are asking for.
Thus, you must come up with exact values. Here is an example. If you are a guy and you weigh 240 pounds. You may set a goal to get to 200 pounds as a goal. That is something your brain can get behind. You can continue to diet and exercise until you have hit your target weight.
The specificity creates the target. When you hit that target you will know that your goal has been achieved.
M – Measurable
Like the “S” component you need to be able to measure your progress as you are going toward your goal. Regardless of what that goal is there needs to be a way for you to know that you are on the right path.
If you have a weight goal then a scale is the measuring tool. If you have a financial goal then your bank account will be the way that you measure it. What is a way that you can measure the progress of achieving your goal? This will usually be a tangible system that you can use for this determination.
A – Achievable
The goal has to be realistic and achievable.
I am not saying to not set a lofty goal, though. I am saying that the goal must be something that you can actually achieve. This goal can be a difficult or lengthy journey. That is all okay. If you believe in yourself and you give yourself adequate time then the sky is the limit on getting your goals.
R – Relevant
The goal has to be alignment with you and your life patterns. If you have a goal that does not align with your belief patterns or your core identity then achieving that goal may be next to impossible. You have to believe that the goal is something that you really want without violating your belief patterns.
R – Risky
The second “R” is for Risk. This means you have to do something different. You have to take on a new challenge. And this new challenge will most likely mean doing something different. Doing something different will usually mean taking a risk.
If you have a financial goal then you are already comfortable at your current level of income. If you want to raise that significantly then this will mean taking on more obligations or starting something new. All of that means taking a risk.
If you have a physical fitness goal then it also involves changing your diet and exercise patterns.
One thing to note here. One person’s idea of risk may not be considered risky from someone else’s perspective. Never judge a person’s risk without first understanding why they feel it is a risk.
T – Timely
The “T” stands for Timely. This means you need a deadline for the goal to be achieved. Without a deadline will make most people lazy or slow at trying to achieve that goal. Having a timely goal will make your goals more likely to be achieved.
When you are at work and your boss gives you a big task to do, rarely will she say, “Get it done someday”. Instead, she may say “I need this done by noon Friday.”
Having a time limit on your goal will inspire you to get it done by that timeframe.
Y – Your Why
The reason you want to achieve a new goal is probably the most important aspect of goal setting. Without a “Why” will only make your goal a dream of someday in the future. The “why” is your motivator. It is what will get you up in the morning to go run that 3 miles even though it is a huge downpour going on. It is your reason for doing everything in the first place.
Without a why you are only doing something for the sake of doing it. It is the most important aspect of any goal-setting process.
When you begin to set a goal, think about each of the 7 letters above and how each of them will git into each goal you set.
- Is it specific? Do I know exactly the moment I get it?
- Is it measurable? How do I measure the daily progress as you are getting your goal?
- Is it achievable? Is this a goal that is realistic for you to actually achieve?
- Is it relevant? Does this goal violate anything you actually believe in?
- Is it risky? What must I do differently or what risks do I need to take to achieve my goal?
- Is there a timely deadline? When is the target date in order to achieve that goal?
- Why are you wanting this goal? Is that goal something you can really get behind?
Once you are able to answer all of those 7 questions with an answer you can get behind then your goal-setting process can now begin.
If you feel you may want to consider coaching to assist you with your goal-setting processes I would suggest reading this article on deciding if you may want to read this article.