We often plan on setting goals at the start of a new year. However, that is not the only time you can do that. Life is always changing and perhaps you need to set a new financial goal to pay for a new appliance. You may need to set a new goal to achieve weight loss.
Whatever your goal, you have to understand the core concept of goal setting. The simplest way to do that is to remember this acronym – SMART.
Specific — write down exactly what you want. For example, it is not I want to lose weight, it is I want to lose 10 pounds.
Measureable — it should be defined. You don’t say I want to save more money for my trip, you would say I want to save $1000 for our vacation.
Attainable — make sure it is something you can do. A goal is not run 15 miles every day….but rather, I will work to run at least 1 mile every day.
Relevant — don’t look at what others do. Make sure your goal works for you.
Time Bound — define the date by which you need to reach your goal.
Once you have reviewed this tips and have your goals in mind, you need to be able to track them easily. Many choose to write them down and place them on your bathroom mirror, where you are sure to see them each and every morning. Others are looking to technology to help them keep on track.
If you wish to use your phone to track goals, I’ve got a few free apps you can try. Some of these offer pro versions, but you can try the lite for free before you pay (which is always a great way to make sure it works).
This is one that I know a LOT of people love and use. You may think this is just a note taking app, but it can be so much more. You can create your notebook and add priorities to your tasks be it goal, daily to do — or whatever you want! I love this article on How to Use Evernote to Achieve your Goals – it can be very helpful.
This is the perfect way to merge your daily to do list with your goals. It prompts you each day to review your daily list of activities and decide which is most important and which you need to do for that day. It is great because you can add monthly, quarterly or even annual goals, so you don’t forget about those either.
I love that this app walks you through the goal setting process so you ARE being SMART as you establish them. They offer templates you can use and customize to fit your own needs.
You can find this on Android and Apple markets. You can even access it on any other mobile device (viewing the app in the mobile platform – should you be using a Windows phone).
This app is not only goal based, but also includes a community feature. When you are accountable to others, you tend to stay on track with your goals more easily. You can select your goals and then the type of motivation you need be it advice or even just lifting up from the community.
This is one that will actually cost you money if you don’t reach your goal! You set your goal, timeframe and the money you are willing to pay should you fail to achieve it. You can then direct where the money will go (so you don’t give it to just anyone). You will have a referee who will monitor your progress — or opt to be honest and go it alone.