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How to Set Goals You Can Actually Reach

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At CFSG we are dedicated to improving the lives of our clients. We would like to learn a bit more about your current goals and reasons you are training so we can further enhance your experience and help get you the results you’re looking for!

First, we want to make sure your goals are realistic and achievable.

HOW TO SET GOALS

To be successful, goals need to meet a few criteria with the acronym “SMART.”

Specific
The first criterion stresses the need for a specific goal rather than a more general one. This means the goal is clear and unambiguous. To make goals specific, they must state exactly what’s expected, why it’s important, who’s involved, where it’s going to happen and which attributes are important.

A specific goal will usually answer the five ‘W’ questions:

  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

Measurable
The second criterion stresses the need for concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goal. The thought behind this is that if a goal is not measurable it is not possible to know whether you are making progress toward successful completion. Measuring progress will help you stay on track, reach your target dates and experience the exhilaration of achievement that will encourage you to continue to put in the effort to reach the ultimate goal.

A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?
  • Indicators should be quantifiable

Attainable
The third criterion stresses the importance of goals that are realistic and also attainable. While an attainable goal may push your limits, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, since these may be considered meaningless. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills and financial capacity to reach them. The theory states that an attainable goal may cause goal-setters to identify previously overlooked opportunities to bring themselves closer to the achievement of their goals.

An achievable goal will usually answer the question How?

  • How can the goal be accomplished?
  • How realistic is the goal based on other constraints?

Relevant
The fourth criterion stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter. A bank manager’s goal to “Make 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by 2pm” may be specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound but lacks relevance. Relevant goals (when met) drive you forward. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.

A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:

  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time?
  • Does this match our other efforts/needs?
  • Are you the right person?
  • Is it applicable in the current socio- economic environment?

Time-bound
The fifth criterion stresses the importance of grounding goals within a time-frame, giving them a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the SMART goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency.

A time-bound goal will usually answer the question: When?

  • What can I do six months from now?
  • What can I do six weeks from now?
  • What can I do today?

Now, let’s set some goals!  You can fill out our Goals Form here.