Five Steps to Smart Goal Setting

Self-ImprovementGoal Setting

  • Author Corinna Bowers
  • Published March 22, 2009
  • Word count 621

Did you make New Year’s resolutions this year? How are they coming along? If you’re like most people, you may not have implemented all the essential components to ensure your success. Smart goal setting is possible if you put into practice these five necessary steps.

  1. You’ve got to have a plan. The GROW model (Goal, Reality check, Options, Will) is a very simple process to establish a clear plan. The first step is to come up with a specific, realistic, and doable goal. Good things to identify are the time frame you have for accomplishing the goal, what will be different as a result of reaching your goal, and how you can make your goal measurable. The second step is to ascertain an objective picture of how things stand right now. You’ll want to ask yourself questions like, "How many times did you do that today?" and "What have you actually accomplished on this today?" The third step is to think creatively for a variety of possible solutions. And the last step is to determine your willingness to make it happen. A good question to ask yourself now is, "What will you do by when?"

  2. Smart goal setting also requires having motivation to accomplish your goal. So figure out what that means for you. Are you motivated by trying to avoid something negative? Are you motivated by trying to gain something positive? How strong is this motivation and will it last the whole time you’re working towards your goal? Whatever motivator you have must be something that is important to you.

  3. We all need people in our lives who affirm our strengths, who encourage us when we’re down, and who support our dreams. We need people who are on our side, people who want us to succeed. Having a strong support system is essential to accomplishing your goals. And when you activate your support system by announcing your ambitions, asking for and accepting help, and sharing your successes, you gain a strength that you just couldn’t have on your own. And that’s powerful.

  4. Smart goal setting also demands accountability. For many people, it can feel nearly impossible to see goals to fruition—that’s why the same New Year’s Resolutions get made year after year. When we’re only accountable to ourselves, we tend to slack off and let ourselves off the hook. But when you have someone who holds you accountable for your actions (or inactions), you’ll find yourself moving faster and further toward your goal that ever before. Someone who holds you accountable asks why you didn’t do what you said you were going to do and what your next step is. They keep you moving forward by keeping you out of your way!

  5. You also need a strong sense of stick-to-itiveness. If you’re determined to keep moving towards your goal, to maneuver through obstacles, to identify and utilize all your options then you’re willing to take life as it comes and still move forward. We all know that unexpected things happen to throw us off track. Even expected challenges can be daunting and for some people debilitating. But if you’ve cultivated your determination so that you know you’re going to make it through no matter what, nothing can stop you. And that’s a great way to achieve your goal!

Smart goal setting often seems elusive—how many times have you set goals only to never reach them? But if you follow these five smart goal setting steps you’re only limited by the goals you set for yourself. And that’s a pretty good position to be in, wouldn’t you say?

Corinna Bowers is a personal life coach who coaches overwhelmed women to feel more confident, connected, and accomplished. Sign up for a FREE phone consultation at her website:

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