Topic 2 What: think about your goals

We need to know what we want to achieve to be able to find our way. As Seneca put it: “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable”.

Our goals set our direction and strategy to our acts and they are achieved through individual tasks and steps.

We should realize that already the point of setting our goals is a proactive way to gain control over our lives. Good goals imply many criteria, two of them being of highest importance:

    • the goals are measurable (we know exactly success indicators – time, amount, number,…).
    • the goals are achievable (we should be capable of reaching them).

Smart goals should respond to the following questions:

  • WHAT exactly do you want to achieve?
    • HOW do you want to achieve it?
      • WHEN do you want to achieve it?
        • WHY do you want to achieve it?
          • Do we have CONDITIONS favorable to achieve it?

The following text will help you set your goals:

Goals setting using smart methodology

SMART is an acronym used in coaching (as well as in project management, etc.) for goals setting.

It is a way to evaluate the quality of goals (in terms of personal development or project) set within a certain plan. Furthermore, this term is also used for performance management with goals being parameters to be fulfilled.

Goals set should be ambitious and challenging, however not unreachable. Perhaps we should start by setting minor, easily achievable goals, and their achievement will boost our self confidence.

Let’s look at the letters standing for SMART acronym:

Specific

The more specific definition of the goal, the easier way to its achievement.

Measurable

Otherwise it will not be possible to assess if we are heading towards them, and they cannot be controlled. Measuring means assessment to what extent the goal has been reached. Measuring parameters shall be measured in an exact way (dimensions, weight, amount, qualities, etc.).

Achievable

The goal has to be yours, internally assigned and accepted by you. Should your goals be assigned by another person, they could not be internally accepted and you would always find something “more interesting” to do.

Realistic

Each goal has to be realistic. It should be achievable in specific timeframe using relevant tools, knowledge and resources.

Time-based

Should the goal not have a clear time frame, it resembles a vision. With a deadline set, the goal becomes binding.

Activity: Set your own smart targets

Your task is to note down at least three goals that will help you achieve your WHY. Use the SMART methodology. For more complex goals, use SMART methodology also to break the goal down into individual steps and activities needed to achieve the goal.

Should you still feel unsure how to do it, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I have to do, change or omit to achieve my goals?
  • Are there preconditions (knowledge, skills, resources) to achieve it?
  • Will I be able to reach the goal myself or will I need external help?
  • What is the timeframe for achieving it?
  • How will I find out my achievement? How can I measure the goal?

EXAMPLES:

GOAL No. 1 I will find a new job as main employment in my hometown by 10 October of this year. 

  • Activity No. 1 in the following week: on Monday I shall call to the Employment Authority and fix a meeting there with the aim of finding a job.
  • Activity No. 2 in the following week: starting from Monday, I will be looking at advertisements in xx newspapers and on the Internet at the xxx website.
  • Activity No. 3 in the following week: on Tuesday I will find out possibilities of Criminal Records Register in xx Non-Profit Organization

GOAL No. 2 This week, I will practice yoga every day after I wake up for 30 minutes.

  • Activity No. 1 in the following week: on Monday I will buy a yoga mat.

GOAL No. 3 Every day I will spend at least one hour with my son reading.

Activity: Make your list of tasks and activities

MY GOAL (using SMART) WHICH TASKS / ACTIVITIES I MUST PERFORM TO ACHIEVE IT