Are you SMART at setting goals?


Do we set our goals properly? The answer is very important because it decides whether a person’s life is successful or not. Majority of us flow according to the outside circumstances and later repent about the end point.

We are considered to be passive recipients of what life gives us. Why can’t we take charge? We all need a successful and happy life, and this will be achieved only when we reach our goals. How can we set goals? In general it is a SMART process:

S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Achievable
R- Realistic
T- Time bound

The goal which you are going to set should have the above given characteristics. For example, if you want to score high grades in your exam, you need to be specific i.e., for which exam, for which paper and what is the score you are expecting so that it is measurable. We need to be very sure that it is realistic i. e., is it possible to score those marks in that particular subject in that university and whether we have enough time to prepare for that. If the decision is taken in the month of February and the exam is in the month of March then the goal may be difficult to reach.

How does setting goals improve your performance? There are some mechanisms through which goal setting helps you. Goals help you to be more focussed. It directs you to goal-relevant activities and away from goal-irrelevant activities. Goals energize you. Higher goals muster greater effort, while low goals muster lesser effort. Goals help you to be more persistent, which is considered to be one of the main qualities for attaining anything. Goals help us to be more aware cognitively and help in strategizing to cope with the situation at hand.