You may have heard of SMART goals, which can help you to reach great heights, but did you know that SMARTER goals takes this concept to a whole new level? The last two letters stand for “Evaluate” and “Revise” and I believe they are an essential part of the process.
When you take the time to evaluate our progress, it gives you time to reflect on questions like:
Is this goal still something I want to go for or did new information present itself that is inspiring me to shift my course?
Do I need to break down my goal into a smaller step because I am missing some information or a specific skill?
After evaluating you can Revise your goals to reflect the shifts that you want to make.
SMART goals were first mentioned in an article by George T. Duran. If you haven’t heard of SMART goals before, let’s review the process briefly.
S – Specific
First you need to choose a specific area of improvement. This could be in the area of relationships, career, finance, hobbies, learning a skill, fitness, and so on. Let’s say for the sake of this article we focus on the area of fitness. Some great questions for setting a specific goal are:
What do I want to achieve?
Why is this goal important?
M – Measurable
Now we select a bench mark. Some fitness goal examples are: 1. Cardio three times a week 2. Play sports twice a week 3. 100 sit-ups a day –and so on. The goal needs to be measurable so you can know when you have achieved success.
How will I know when the goal is accomplished?
A – Achievable
Now we want to make sure that this goal is achievable. If it’s not achievable at this time, maybe the goal needs to be broken down into a smaller step first to get to a point where it’s achievable. For the fitness example, do you have all the equipment you would need? Do you need a gym membership?
Do I have all the resources I need to achieve this?
How realistic is it based on my constraints?
R – Relevant
In the fitness example, you may have a broader goal of becoming fit or being healthy. If that’s the case, your fitness goal aligns with your values of being fit and healthy.
Does this goal align with your long-term goals and values?
Is it the right time to work toward this goal (seasonal, political, financial, or other restrictions)?
Is it the right time in your life to work toward this goal?
T – Time Specific
Setting a time frame can really help you to become motivated to achieve your goals. In the fitness example this could mean engaging in cardio 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
When will you see results?
How long will you engage in the activity for? Minutes? Weeks? Months?
Do you want to complete this goal by a specific date?
E – Evaluate
As mentioned above, this step can be important in determining if you need to correct your course. You might be struggling with achieving your original goal, or find that you don’t like a particular exercise and need to switch to something else. This phase of evaluation will help you to recognize a change is needed.
Is this goal still relevant?
Is this goal still achievable?
Did I learn new information that inspired me to change course?
R – Readjust
Now that you’ve evaluated your progress you have the opportunity to adjust your original goal. You might also change your approach to achieving the goal. Let’s say you started your fitness program at home, but found yourself unmotivated. Maybe attending a class at a gym would help to keep you accountable to your goal.
Readjust may also apply to your mindset. Take a moment to consider the thoughts you have that arise when you are engaged in activities. If you find that there’s a lot of negative chatter, try using some positive affirmations to make your work easier. Say to yourself “I can achieve anything I put my mind to” or “In it to Win it” before your activity.
Let me know how your SMARTER goals are coming along! Write me below in the comments.