Have you heard the expression ‘the first step is admitting you have a problem?’ Today, our first step is realising we have a goal. Then we work out how we go about achieving it. The SMART system is a popular method of defining personal goals. By rationalising and thinking through goals in systematic way, we can begin to see a way of tackling the next test, the next 10 kgs or the next $1,000.

SMART stands for:

Specific: In order to aim for something, you need to be very clear about what you are trying to achieve. It is not enough to say ‘I want to lose weight’. It’s too vague.

Measurable: You will need to decide on a way of definitively saying that you met your goal. This could be something obvious, like an A grade, a number on the scales or the figures in your account, or it could be things such as a reduction in complaints or the number of times you got home before 9pm in the month.

Attainable: What’s your strategy? You need a plan of attack for reaching your target. What can you do and when to make it possible?

Realistic: If you put in your best effort is it something that you can possibly achieve? I’d really like to work for NASA but I can’t translate an Arts degree into an Aerospace one, and it’s not really where my talents lie. Your goal needs to possible, but dancing just out of reach.

Timely: What’s your deadline? This is an important one. Make it too far ahead and you risk forgetting or procrastinating, too soon and you may feel it’s impossible and give up.

Remember to aim high, and that any improvement is a step in the right direction.

My personal goal is to get my driver’s licence before Christmas. Already in this we can see a SMART goal emerging:

Specific: pass automatic transmission driver’s licence test

Measurable: Gain a pass mark at which Vic Roads will give me one of those green cards with the horrible photos on and let me drive a car!

Attainable: I will take driving lessons on Saturday mornings, bright and early. To learn faster, I will take double lessons, as I find one lesson is too short to properly get the hang of a process.

Realistic: I’ve had a fair few lessons now and I think I am well on my way to a licence, I just need the extra push to boost my confidence, and a few more lessons to work on the parallel parks.

Timely: I want that licence in my hand by Christmas!

There are many examples of SMART goal setting available on the internet and one such detailed resource is available here.

It would be great to hear some goals from the rest of the Finstyle Family, drop us a line on the website, twitter or facebook to share your own.

Disclaimer: The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the views or opinions of Total Financial Solutions Australia (AFSL# 224954)

This information does not take into account the reader’s objectives, financial situation or needs. For this reason, before you act on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice taking into account your own objectives, financial situation and needs. Before you make a decision about whether to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement.

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