What Are My Goals

07 Apr 2021

Why smart goals are so important

What is a "SMART" goal? Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. With these 5 attributes in mind, you will create something to aim for that are achievable in the short run and will produce huge results in the long run. Visually seeing your goals written down can also help you feel more accountable and more likely to continue to work toward achievement.

  • Specific - Should contain enough detail that you know when it is accomplished or not. There should be no grey area and wiggle room. If you are a perfectionist, this will help get you out of that dreaded obsession. You can always go back a refine later.
  • Measurable - Defining your goal in a way that anyone can tell that it is done (ie: I will save $1,000 or I will apply for and receive an LLC license for my new company). On the opposite side of perfectionism, do you ever find yourself saying "good enough"? Making a goal measurable will prevent any shortcomings. You have checked all of the requirements, congrats! It's done.
  • Achievable - Set yourself up for success. Make goals that you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. For example, paying off one credit card in the next three months vs paying off 20 cards by the next pay period. Goals should be small enough to check them off regularly.
  • Relevant - If you want to buy a house, your list of goals should not include "do the laundry" and "run a 7-minute mile"
  • Time-bound - Set a date! This is probably the biggest one on the list. To avoid procrastination and boredom, making goals that can be accomplished on a daily or weekly basis will keep you motivated and on track to meet your larger goals.

Effect of writing your goals down

Making a goal without a plan is just a wish. Wishes can easily change with our current emotions and motivations. Writing your goals down can make it 120% more likely that it will be accomplished! We need a way to stabilize our goals so they do not change over time and become a moving target. We also need to convince our brain that these goals are important to us.

First let us look at motivation. Motivation is a struggle for just about everyone. We try to maximize our happiness while minimizing discomfort. In a world of instant gratification, it is very easy to put off a difficult task that will get us closer to our long-term goal. Writing down your goal and putting it in a place that you will see repeatedly throughout the day will remind you why you are working so hard. It will make the distractions less appealing and the positive progress rewarding. Visually seeing a goal creates stronger connections in our brains and puts these goals in our long-term memory. This process is called encoding.

The process of you creating this goal yourself by physically writing it down gives you ownership over your goal.

Be obsessed

It is easy to convince ourselves how difficult a task will be and make the action seem like an insurmountable hill to climb. The reality is that the process of accomplishing your goals can be extremely rewarding and an amazing experience. In your journey, you will learn so much about yourself and the world around you. You might meet some incredible people and open doors that you never knew were available to you! Often the hardest part of your goals is just getting started. Putting on your gym clothes, making your budget, filing for an LLC for your new company, etc. However, the immediate next step we see that it was not as scary as we built it up in our head and by step three we are legitimately excited and enjoying the moment.

Being obsessed will flip the negativity and fear associated with your goal into an exciting quest! Every morning you wake up and think "What can I do today that will get me a little closer to being where I want to be in the future?" Finding small wins every day with the ultimate goal in mind is the key to success!