How To Set Smart Goals

If you’ve ever set a goal before, you know that it can be hard to follow through on them sometimes.  Goal setting is a great way to keep yourself motivated to make positive or necessary changes in your life, but the key is to set the goals and actually follow through on them. 

Many of us have great intentions when we set goals, but we trip ourselves up by setting goals that are vague or hard to track.  That’s where SMART goals come in and stands for:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable 
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Timely

If you follow this formula when setting goals in the future, you may find it helps guide you through the process of reaching your goals. Here’s a breakdown of what each letter means. 

  • Specific: 
    • When you set goals, keep them as simple as possible without being vague. Simple & specific goals give you a much clearer idea of what needs to be done to achieve them. 
  • Measurable: 
    • Another important aspect of the goal is how you measure it. How will you know when you’ve reached your goal? To help set a measurable goal, come up with a clear objective. For example, instead of saying “I want to make more time for my friends,” say “I want to plan one group activity a week with my friends.” 
  • Achievable: 
    • It is almost always exciting to have a new goal to work toward. Make sure that your goal is realistic, however. For example: if one of your goals is to spend more time reading, instead of saying “I want to read more this year,” say “I am going to set aside 10 minutes a day for reading.”  
  • Relevant: 
    • When you’re deciding on a goal ask yourself, “Is this goal relevant to my life? To my values? To my interests?” If your goals don’t align with the things that are meaningful to you, you may not feel motivated to try to achieve them. 
  • Time-Bound: 
    • Having an open-ended goal can be an invitation for procrastination + forgetfulness. When you set a goal, make sure to come up with a time frame for when you want to complete it. This can help you structure your progress, and keep track of how close you are to achieving it. 

Remember, this is just one approach to goal setting. Take what works for you and leave what doesn’t. Everyone is different, so it makes sense that we all work toward our goals differently. This framework is just a starting point.

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Traci Davison
(she, her, hers)

Traci joined Holistic Consultation in 2017 with 20 years of experience in the medical field.

As our Billing Manager, Traci’s experience in credentialing, office & billing management and benefit coordination helps manage all aspects of billing at Holistic Consultation.

Below are Traci’s staff recommendations:

Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Catherine M Pittman and Elizabeth M Karle

Dealing with anxiety can make your brain feel like a stranger. This book helps uncover the reasons behind the feelings of fear to help you work through anxiety, panic, and worry.  You’ll learn how the amygdala and cortex contribute to anxiety and what you can do about it to feel better.

It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine

We live in a culture that likes to pretend grief doesn’t exist, so when we find ourselves in the midst of grief it can be totally overwhelming. This book will teach you not only about the myths of the grieving process, how to manage your emotions while grieving, and about how grief is perfectly normal.

How to Survive the Loss of a Parent by Lois F. Akner 

Losing a parent is hard to contemplate. When someone loses a parent, they may be overwhelmed and totally unprepared for the complex swirls of emotion that come up: regret, sadness, anger, shame, loss, love, guilt – the list goes on and on. This book is a comprehensive guide on the loss of a parent and gives a path to work through the grief you’re feeling.