• Lauren Buchanan


We are going to dive into SMART goals and how you can implement them in your planning routine!

I have mentioned smart goals in several videos, but haven’t gone into detail about what they are and how they work.

Smart goals are a way of setting goals that make them far easier to accomplish.

Goals give you focus and direction. But the way you word your goal can determine whether or not you will be successful at accomplishing your focus.

Say you have a goal to backpack Europe? That's nice. But this goal, without a plan, is just a wish.

Let’s break down this goal as an example using the SMART method.

S - stands for specific

We all have goals, but they are often vague and difficult to clearly understand.

So you want to backpack Europe? Where in Europe? For how long? Alone or with a friend? Perhaps you want to backpack France, Italy, and Greece for one month with your best friend.

The more specific your goal, the clearer the path to get there.

M - stands for measurable

Having a measurable goal can help keep you motivated. In order to make a goal measurable, you need to pick a metric that makes the most sense for that particular goal

Do you want to backpack in Europe? Perhaps your metric is the amount of money you need to save for the trip or read a specific number of travel books to prepare yourself or take X amount of lessons in a foreign language.

Now you want to take a $5,000 backpack trip to France, Italy and Greece for a month with your best friend.

By having a metric, you can track your progress and stay motivated to accomplish your goal.

A - stands for Attainable

Make sure it is possible to accomplish the goal you set for yourself. Perhaps your specific goals are to backpack Europe all summer this year. Perhaps this is possible for you, but likely you don’t have the time between now and then to plan, prepare and save up for such a huge endeavor.

Your goals should push you to work harder than ever before but not be so difficult that they are impossible to accomplish.

Another A I have seen instead of Attantable is Actionable.

An actionable goal means that you can break it down into tiny chunks that are easily accomplished. The smaller you break down a goal, the more likely you are to work away at it until you finally reach the finish line.

Do you want to backpack in Europe? That goal has so many little facets that you can break down into little bites every day. From setting a budget, to do research, creating an itinerary, a packing list, etc. The little goals are the things that actually get checked off in our daily to-do list and further encourage us to work toward the big goal.

R - stands for relevant

A common problem we goal setters have is setting too many goals and then not knowing which ones to focus on. Let’s say you want to backpack Europe, but you are currently a Junior in college and have three weddings to go to this summer that you can’t miss as well as an internship with a sweet company.

Perhaps backing Europe is not relevant to you right now and should wait until it is more of a priority.

T - the last one stand for Time-Bound

This is one of the most important ones because it gives your goal a deadline. Without a deadline, it is easy to say, “I will get to that tomorrow or next month or later” and then it NEVER HAPPENS. Especially if you are a known procrastinator, this step is essential for you to reach success. Do you want to backpack in Europe? When? Instead say, I want to backpack by the summer of 2021. Now you have time for your internships this summer, and plenty of time to save up and prepare for your big trip.

Before this exercise, your goal was to backpack Europe. Now your goal is to take a $5000 backpacking trip to France, Italy, and Greece with your best friend for a month by in the summer of 2021, and you have a long list of actionable tasks that are broken down from this goal.

Now your goal is smart and you know exactly what you need to do to accomplish it!

Play around with this idea of SMART goals in other areas of your life? Comment below - What goal do you have right now that is still vague. We can work together to make it SMART!

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