Updated at December 1, 2022
How To Set SMART Goals for 2023
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
With the new year just around the corner, new goals are likely to emerge from your mind. And if you really intend to achieve, or at least be on track to do so, you may need to reassess the effectiveness of your goals.
Generally, when we define a goal as "lose weight", we do not make it clear if this goal is achievable due to several factors. First, "lose weight" is too broad (if I may say so), because it is not clear how much weight we want loose, and on the other hand, the way in which we intend to achieve this objective has not been defined.
Losing weight is just one of many other goals we've set the wrong way, and if you want stronger goals, this article will help you make them SMARTer.
What are SMART goals?
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) is a way to remember what makes a good goal, offering a more effective guide to achieving the expected results.
The specificity of a goal usually depends on knowing how to respond to who, what, when, and where.
If we consider the above example, "lose weight", you should ask yourself questions such as: Where will I work to lose weight or When will I do something to really lose weight? Answering these questions will make your goals more specific, leaving clearest where and how to start.
Understanding how you are moving towards your goal is essential to know when you can say you have reached it.
Returning to our example of losing weight, knowing how many pounds you intend to lose during the year, and how many pounds you would like to lose per month would be acceptably measurable aspects of this goal.
For your goal to be achieved, it first needs to be realistic, which means that the goal you are striving for must be reasonable. In other words, consider your limitations.
If your goal is to lose 5 pounds a month, that requires the follow-up of a personal trainer, nutritionist, and money to spare. So, minimizing your monthly expenses can be another goal on the way to your main goal.
If you are going to dedicate yourself for an entire year to achieve a goal, it must be relevant to your life. In our example, losing weight (if you are above the recommended level) is of great importance for your health and well-being, so it is relevant, making it more sustainable because there is an intrinsic motivation to achieve it.
Setting a deadline for your goal adds accountability. If we don't establish an end, there won't be a concern to start working on it. Defining deadlines is also a good way to measure the progress of our work toward the desired goal.
If you want to lose 60 pounds in 12 months, you can use the end of each month to evaluate your progress and see if you've lost at least 5 pounds or gained a few more. If you didn't manage to lose the desired amount of pounds, how close did you come? Where did you fail?
Using time in your favor to get a sense of how your journey is going is essential to fix possible mistakes made along the way.
SMART goals are a useful method of defining a goal, clearly defining your direction and approach, and setting a date for results. A vague goal like “lose weight” can now be converted to “exercise daily to lose 5 pounds per month by the end of 2023”.
I set my yearly goals using Notion, so you can also use my template to set yours.
Think smarter, and focus on the journey, not the destination.
Have a project in mind? Let's work together.
© 2022, Nubelson Fernandes