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Strategies for Success: Setting SMART Goals and Creating a Plan to Achieve Them
Setting goals is a huge part of success.
Goals help to give us purpose, direction and motivation to be successful, and SMART goals help us to achieve this. So what does that mean? SMART stands for; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
To ensure you reach your goal, you need to define what it means to accomplish it. This includes outlining your personal goal, time frame, and the actions that must happen on the path to achieving it. Let’s take a look at these different components in more detail:
S – Specific
For a goal to be successful, it needs to be clear and concise. It should also be easy to understand what the end goal is and answer questions such as; what needs to be accomplished and who is responsible for each step.
M – Measurable
To keep on top of your goal, you need to be able to measure your progress. This helps you to stay focused, meet your deadlines and ensure that you are hitting milestones. A combination of these will result in the successful completion of your goal.
A – Attainable
Whilst it’s good to set big goals, these goals also need to be realistic. It should stretch your abilities but not make them unachievable. A question to ask yourself; is the goal within your project scope?
R – Relevant
All goals should be relevant, ask yourself why that goal is important to you and how it aligns with long-term objectives. Goals that align with your values will be more motivating for you to achieve, which in turn means you’ll be more likely to stick with them.
T – Time-bound
The final step of setting SMART goals is to set deadlines and milestones for achieving your goals. Break your goals down into smaller steps and give them a deadline to keep progressing toward your end goal. Being aware of your time helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over the long-term goal.
Creating a Plan to Achieve Your Goals
Once you have set SMART goals, the next step is to create a plan to achieve them. Action plans create an opportunity for growth as they set out a means to achieve short and long-term goals. Whatever the time frame you are working with, it’s important to understand how to make a plan so you can prioritise the steps needed to achieve your goals successfully.
Here are five tips from the CPDSO team for creating a successful plan:
- Break down your goals into smaller steps, and give each one a deadline to be completed by.
- Identify what resources you will need to achieve your goals, including; time, money and resources.
- Take a moment to consider if there are any potential obstacles that could stop you from being successful and what you can do to overcome them.
- Surround yourself with people who motivate you and don’t hold you back – find those people who are ambitious, organised and supportive!
- Regularly review your progress and refine your goal where necessary to move forward.
In conclusion, setting SMART goals and outlining your plan to achieve them is key to success. By following these steps, you can create a clear path towards achieving your goals and aspirations. Remember that your success is more than about what you achieve, it’s also about the journey it took to get there.