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Be Smart - Set SMART Goals

Jan 18, 2008
It's that time of year again. Even though you promised yourself last year that you would never eat as much again, once more you well and truly over did it. But now that all the rich food and tasty beverages have been finished, and a corner has been turned, you have great plans for 2008 to be the year in which you achieve all you wish for yourself. You have written down your goals and feel really excited about reaching them. This year is going to be different to all the others!

We always start off like this when setting new goals but more often than not our plans fall by the wayside. Why does this happen? Well, it's usually down to the fact that we make so many excuses, by way of justification of our failures. Some of the most frequent ones we use are detailed below.

- Being too busy and not having enough time
- The goal is much harder than first expected
- A bit short of cash this month
- It's usually someone else's fault.
- Putting it off until tomorrow
- Not knowing how to do it
- Timing could be better
- Other things to do which take priority

These responses are not reasons - they are merely excuses. We tell ourselves these stories and anyone else who is listening in order to avoid the fact that we have failed, or were uncommitted to our goals.

So lets take a minute to discuss SMART goals and how they should be set and achieved. If you are a fan of acronyms this one will appeal to you! The initials SMART stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound.

An example of some of the more common goals we set in business are, to make more profit (how much more?), to produce more sales, (how many more and by what method?) to meet more people (how many and how do you intend to meet them?) and to generate more leads (how to go about this?).

Goals of a more personal nature would include weight loss ( how much and how quickly), save some money (how much each month?), take up a more healthy lifestyle (what does this mean for you as an individual), redecorate the house (all of it or just the first floor and by when?).

If you do not manage to achieve your goals, step back and try to see why. Take a realistic look at what went wrong, and adjust your goals as necessary, setting yourself a new time limit. This is ok to do, and it's so much more productive than using the excuses listed above.

If you regard yourself as a failure and have little self esteem, how can you expect other people to have respect for you? Once you have succeeded in keeping your commitments to yourself, you can then go on to fulfilling your promises to other people, be it business clients, employees, or your own family. Notice how differently others regard you when you take yourself seriously.

So what if you really do not have the time? Well, you are no different to the next person and you have to learn to set time for the things which mean a lot to you. It may well be that you do have enough time, but the particular task you have to carry out is not so much of a priority for you. Just ask yourself, if you were offered a million dollars, how quickly would you find time to do it?

It's a good idea to write your goals down and keep them in a place where you will see them on a daily basis. Seeking the help of others and telling them about your intentions will make you more accountable. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help as people may not be aware of your needs. Word of what you are trying to achieve will soon spread and before you know it you will have created a great support network.

Be smart and set SMART goals, and this will surely turn out to be your best year yet!
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News , a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
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