When you want to get from point A to point B, you use a map to understand the way to get there. Imagine you are in a museum, and you really want to see the dinosaur skeletons in the east wing, third floor. You look at a map near where you stand. It shows a plan of the museum and an arrow pointing to where you stand, saying ‘YOU ARE HERE’. You check the index and discover where the dinosaurs are, and then look at the different ways you might get there and choose your route.
Setting SMART goals is a bit like creating a map to help you succeed in achieving them. First you need to know that you want to go somewhere in particular, to have a goal in mind as a destination. Secondly you need to know where you are now, in relation to where you want to be. Third, you take a look at the various routes available to take you where you want to go.
Sometimes, the goal may simply be where you want to be. Other times, the goal may include the path to get there.
Example – Getting out of debt.
You decide to get out of debt. First of all, you take stock of your current financial situation. Then you calculate how much debt you need to pay off. Then you set a SMART goal that gives you the best chance of getting from where you are now, to where you want to be – debt free!
Let’s take a look now at the criteria that make a goal SMART…