Goal tracking can be gratifying or intimidating. Some people revel in the seeing their accomplishments on paper. Others imagine goal tracking as another reminder of their inability to stick to goals.
A major mistake people make is getting frustrated when they fail to stick to a habit in order to reach a goal. They get discouraged and they just quit. The key to accomplishing a goal is to restart whenever you find you have lapsed in keeping up with your habit tracking. You don’t fail when you lapse, you fail when you quit.
A great way to stick to your goals is to make sure you format your goals as SMART goals.* SMART is an acronym it stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant (or reasonable, or realistic), and time bound.
Be specific about what your goal is. Stating, “I want to raise my grade” is not specific. State, “I want to raise my grade by 10 points”
Making your goal measurable isn’t always included in its specificity as it is in my example goal. The measurability in my example is how many points. Your goal may require specificity and measurability separately.
Your goal must be achievable. If the maximum grade in a class is only 5 points higher than the grade you currently have, raising your grade by 10 points is not achievable much like a goal of walking from Florida to Canada within an hour is not achievable.
The “R” in SMART can mean different things depending on the circumstance in which the goal is being made. “Relevant” could mean whether or not the goal it is even important to you personally or an organization. It could mean whether it is reasonable. For me, I don’t use the “reasonable” or “realistic” as standards because that is covered under “achievable” but there is an argument to be made that “reasonable” or “realistic” and “achievable” can be individual tests.
Your goal must have a deadline in order to be a goal. A goal without a due date is just a wish. Set a realistic deadline for your goal.
When you set SMART goals, it makes it much easier to see what you plan to accomplish. After setting a goal, use goal trackers to visually track of your progress.
*I did not create SMART goals. They are attributed to a couple different educators. For more information about SMART goals, you can google it.