When I revived my passion for cycling, I realized how much I really enjoyed to ride. So with my new-found enjoyment, I set out to set a goal for myself to complete a 50 mile road ride (on my mountain bike) before my daughter was born. Based on my self-imposed timeline I had three months to train my body for the 50 mile ride.
To assist with accomplishing my goal, I used the SMART method. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. I used this method with my 50 mile bike ride. My goal was to ride 50 miles by August 1. Here is how I applied the SMART system to my goal:
Specific - Yep, I want to ride my bike for a few hours.
Measurable - I can measure the distance traveled and the date completed.
Attainable - While it was a challenge, I thought it was attainable.
Relevant - This mattered to me, so yes it was relevant.
Time-Bound - There was a target date.
With a deadline to accomplish my goal, I needed to train. I rode more than I ever had previously, ate better food, and consumed many gallons of water. And yes, I did achieve my goal, two days before my target of August 1.
Whether your goal is fitness, personal, or financial, using the SMART method to define your goals will help you succeed in reaching them. If you are missing any of the SMART components - you are likely setting yourself up to miss your goal. Here are two examples of weak financial goals and how to improve them.
Weak SMART goal:
Improved SMART goal:
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