How SMART Goals Can Help You With Discipline
If you want to develop discipline, it is important that your goals are something you can accomplish or else you are setting yourself up for failure. You need to know what your target is in order to reach it. Most people set goals that are too vague or unrealistic. They often do not attach a time limit on their goals or they expect too much in too short a time. That is why it is a good idea to set SMART goals.
SMART is an acronym that usually is defined: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely or Time-related. There are some variations but mainly they do focus on certain things that help make goals achievable so you can then use discipline to achieve them.
Goals need to be specific. A goal like “I want to lose some weight”, or “I want to make more money”, is not a good goal. It is too vague, and how can you be sure you are successful? When you set a goal of “I want to lose 25 pounds” or “I want to make at least $5,000 a month”, that is something you know whether you have been successful or not.
Goals also need to be measurable. This ties very closely in with being specific, Usually this means putting your goal in numeric terms, but not always. Sometimes it can be a simple yes or no. For example, “I will have my term paper ready to turn in on Monday” can be a measurable goal because it is either done or not done.
Goals need to be attainable or realistic. An example of a specific and measurable goal that is not very realistic might be “I will lose 30 pounds in a month”. Can you lose 30 pounds, yes, will you lose it in only a month? Unless you are using dangerous methods or have had weight loss surgery, most likely not. Now if you set a goal of losing 20 pounds in the next three months, that is far more attainable.
Goals need to be relevant. Someone else may have the goal of going to college, but that might not be a goal you want to make. You want to focus on things that matter to you and your own personal growth, not what other people focus on. This goes along with the old adage of “If all your friends jumped off of a bridge, would you?” It is your goal so make it something that matters to you.
Goals need to be timely or time-related. You need to know when you want the goal to be met, in order to hold yourself accountable. Once you have set SMART goals, you can then develop the discipline to achieve those goals on you path to improving your life.