As we age and enter different stages of life, our personal obligations and responsibilities tend to become more time-consuming. As a wife, student, employee, and caretaker for an elderly woman, some days feel incredibly overwhelming and daunting. By applying a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.) process to my day, it becomes much more feasible. However, what about the long-term goals that will affect your future? By using the S.M.A.R.T. goal system, you are able to make your dreams a reality one small step at a time.
The first step in reaching a long-term goal is to understand the S.M.A.R.T. goal process. Simply using the words specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound can be a bit confusing. After a bit of research, I was able to better define the method. Using a S.M.A.R.T. Goal worksheet provided by Tatt (2012), I was able to understand the definition of each word in the acronym. In other words, specific stands for the who, what, where, why, and when of the goal. Measurable is explained by asking how much, how often, and how many. Attainable asks if the goal achievable. Relevant is defined as how it applies to your ultimate vision. Finally, time-bound is a time-restraint you establish to complete the specific goal. Furthermore, there is a section for intention or in other words, the long-term goal (Tatt, 2012). By filling out this worksheet I was able to first state my intention and then break it down further into smaller specific goals that would eventually lead up to the final picture. By choosing just one specific goal at a time and achieving that success, it becomes much easier to complete your overall dream.
The final piece in my comprehension of how to apply S.M.A.R.T. goals came from Business Journal (Crystal Lake, IL) (2009) "Writing down your goals is like creating a map. Once you realize that the smaller goals lead up to the larger goal, it's much easier to follow that path you have created." In other words, achieving your dreams is not just point A to point B. There are many stops along the way. When applying the S.M.A.R.T. process, the stops become the specific goals you set, and the rest is how you will get to them.
For example, on a personal level, I would like to learn to manage my stress better. However, this statement is too broad. I need to break it down further to create a process in which I will be able to achieve my ultimate goal. When mapping my specific goals, I came up with things such as manage my time better, get more sleep, participate in Yoga regularly, and find time for myself. To begin, I chose to find more time for myself. Specifically, I will find one hour in each day that consists of an activity I enjoy and I will make this a regular habit within the next six months. In order for me to achieve this specific goal, I have begun to write down all of my tasks for the day each morning. After organizing the tasks and establishing...