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The 6 steps to a ‘smart’ goal

Are you setting yourself up for success... or failure?

In the words of Tony Robbins, “Progress equals happiness.” We need to feel like we’re working toward a goal to ultimately feel fulfilled and joyful in life. Sometimes we fall short of our goals, and that’s OK. Everyone fails from time to time – it’s part of the journey to building the magnificent life you desire. However, if you find yourself consistently not reaching or giving up on your goals, maybe it’s time to find a new way to set your intentions.

It’s time to use SMART goals to change your mindset – and change your life.

We can set goals in every part of our lives, from work to creating fulfilling relationships to mastering a new hobby. But if those goals aren’t designed deliberately, they can be harder to achieve. Being purposeful and living with intention are what SMART goals are all about.

First, identify your purpose – what is it you really want to achieve? Whether it’s starting a business, writing a book or losing weight, really focus on that one thing. Your goals need to be compelling and they need to take you to the place you want to be.

Then, to create and maintain momentum that will drive you to follow through with achieving your goals, you must get SMART. Here’s how to set your goals within the SMART goals definition.

What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time Frame. The SMART acronym is commonly used in business, but you can also use it in your personal life. SMART goals are smaller intentions that help you “ladder up” to the big goal you set when you identify your purpose. Creating smaller steps on your way to massive results will help you focus your energy. This level of clarity puts power behind your goals and ensures you can measure your progress more often and take new actions.

Wondering how to set SMART goals? Let’s say your goal is to make more money in the next year. In order to stick with your goal and achieve it, you need to look at it according to the SMART goals format:

1. Specific

Saying you “want to earn more” is too vague. Pick a number for how much money you want to earn. Do you want to start making $150,000 per year, $500,000, $1 million? Set a clear number that will enable you to track your progress. Having a specific goal is helpful in two ways: You can better visualize your outcome – imagine all those zeroes in your bank account – and you will know for sure when you’ve achieved it.

2. Measurable

When you are using SMART goals, you need a way to track your progress. If your goal isn’t measurable, you won’t know if you’ve achieved it. In our example, the specific goal is already measurable: You can check the numbers as the year goes on to see if you’ve reached $150,000.You can also make other goals measurable. For example, instead of “learn how to play golf,” your measurable goal might be “reduce my handicap from 25 to 20.” This allows you to see your development. How are you matching up to your goal? Are you on track to succeed?

3. Achievable

Setting an achievable goal means choosing an objective that, while it requires you to push yourself, is also attainable. If you pick a goal that you know is outrageous – say you’re currently earning $30,000 and want to earn $5 million next year – you’re most likely not going to achieve it. When you create a goal that’s too lofty, you might begin to feel that it’s impossible, and eventually give up.

4. Realistic

Be bold – extraordinary goals get extraordinary results – but ensure your goal is realistic. Realistic goals are those that you are willing and able to work toward. What is it you will need to do to reach your monetary goals? Whether you need to make more sales, get promoted to management or take the lead on a big client, make sure your goal is something you will have the time and energy for. While setbacks can be a catalyst for change and re-energize you, if your goal is not realistic, you will find it impossible to get back on track.

5. Time frame

The final principle in the SMART goals definition is setting a clear time frame in which you can achieve your goal. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to accomplish your goal. Do you think you can start earning your desired salary in six months, one year or two years? Having a clear time frame is essential for checking your progress along the way to reaching your goal. If you don’t reach your goal within the time frame, then it’s time to reassess: Was your goal achievable and realistic? Was your time frame too short? Or did you simply not give it your all? There’s nothing wrong with re-setting your goals, as long as you have clarity on why you didn’t meet them.

When you make your goals a must, chunk them down and prioritize them, commit to and schedule your massive action plan, track and measure your progress and celebrate your wins, you’re being SMART in how you set yourself up for success.

When you’re setting goals, you want to truly reach your desired end result. Sometimes, you might need a little help along the way. Attend Unleash the Power Within, a powerful event that teaches you how to connect with your ultimate purpose and develop an actionable plan to reach your goals. SMART goals are just the beginning – you can change your life one step at a time.


Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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