How Do We Set Our Goals

Specific: Goals need to be something specific. Often we set goals that are so loose, it’s nearly impossible to judge whether we hit them or not. For example, a statement like “I will lose weight” is too vague. How will you know if and when you’ve reached your goal? Saying, ” I will lose five pounds this month” is more specific. At the end of the month it will be a simple matter of weights and measures: take your measurements and get on the scale.

Measurable: Goals need to be measurable. For example, many of us want to increase our number of contacts. But, “making new contacts” is an ambiguous statement. A clearer objective is “I will attend four networking events each month and try to connect with one person at each.” It’s a simple, concrete goal. This makes it easy to see if you hit your target.

Achievable: Goals need to be reasonable and achievable. Nearly everyone has tried to drop a few pounds at one time or another. Often their success or failure depends on setting practical goals. Losing 15 pounds in 30 days is unrealistic (unless you’re planning a medical procedure). Losing six to eight pounds in 30 days is reasonable. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are out of reach.

Realistic: Goals need to be realistic. When we’re kids we think we can do anything. As adults we learn that while we can have a lot, we can’t have it all at the same time. It’s important to honestly evaluate yourself. Do you have the ability and commitment to make your dream come true? Or does it need a little adjustment? For example, you may love to play tennis, but do you have the time, talent and commitment to become a pro? Be honest.

Time Framed: Goals need to have a time frame. Having a set amount of time will give your goals structure. For example, many of us want to find a new job or start their own business. Some people spend a lot of time talking about what they want to do, someday. But, without an end date there is no sense of urgency, no reason to take any action today. Having a specific time frame gives you the impetus to get started. It also helps you monitor your progress.