SMART Goals: How to Set Measurable Goals

When you’re setting a new goal for yourself, it’s important to approach it with a sensible perspective that helps you grasp both the meaning behind it and what’s needed to achieve it. When approaching your goal using the SMART technique, there are few components that can help you determine what needs to be done based on the emotional and practical significance behind it, all of which are equally as important.

However, we wanted to focus on one component in particular. When setting a goal, there needs to always be a definitive way to examine our progress. The M within the SMART approach to our goals stands for measurable, and if we use this component properly, it serves as a crucial part of how we define our success when chasing after a goal.

Having measurables attached to your goals, such as the amount of money you need to save, or the amount of weight you need to lose will tell you everything you need to know in terms of the progress you’re making.

The Recipe Perspective

You’ve probably heard someone refer to a “recipe for success” at one point or another. The term alludes to what someone achieved and what they learned to earn their current standing in life. If If you think about it, there is a lot of value in treating your goals like a recipe. The concept of a recipe a lot of times needs to be followed verbatim but can call for improvisation when needed.

A recipe is an ordered process and culmination of things coming together to form something at large, and we can treat our goals the same way using the proper measurables to get there, adjusting along the way. Let’s apply some real-life examples.

Example 1: Save up for a trip to London (6-month goal)

Determine how many days you want to visit, travel budget, hotel budget, etc.

Reduce spending on dining out by $150 a month.

Try to earn an additional $200 a month for the next 6 months.

Have $1100 or less in overall bills for the next 6 months.

In this example, all of these steps have a number attached to them that will be crucial to your success. You can always change the benchmarks, or adjust the deadline, but as long as you’re giving yourself measurables to strive for, you enhance your focus and have a clear vision of your success or lack thereof.

Example 2: Lose 20 pounds in 16 weeks (4-month goal)

Run for 3 miles a day 3 times a week.

Lift weights and/or use machines for 1 hour twice a week

Consume 400 fewer calories a day

Reduce sugar consumption by 20% throughout 16 week period

Reduce fast food consumption by 75% throughout 16 week period

Again, everything in this “recipe” can be accounted for, giving you a clear vision of success. If you feel like you need to add more, add more. If you want to allocate these differently, that’s perfectly fine! Treating your goal like a recipe will help you throughout your entire process. It will help give you the basis for what you need to begin, and once you start, you can make adjustments to be even more successful than ever before.

Don’t Ignore the Numbers

Many of us set goals that are purely based on how we’ll feel after they’re accomplished. We tend to dwell on how to feel presently and we get stuck on how much better we’d feel if we had reached our goal. The emotional side of setting a goal is one that can’t be ignored, it’s essential to our motivation. With that being said, you NEED to have measurables attached to your goals so that you can define your success.

A lot of people simply strive to lose weight in the new year simply going off doing things that they believe will help them achieve it. Some may make the argument that not setting measurables will keep you out of your own head, but not attaching facts and figures to your goals will only make you become more confused. You won’t have any idea where your progress may have come from and you’d have nothing to work off of.

Setting an initial benchmark to strive for in addition to adding numbers to the steps needed to reach the set benchmark is the best way to reach your goals. Without some kind of methodology or specificity to your recipe, any lack of success will be a complete mystery to you, and you’ll simply give up without knowing what you needed to improve upon to see the results you wanted so badly.

Set a SMART deadline with a little backbone

When analyzing the SMART technique as a whole, there is a little bit overlap, this is especially true when setting a deadline. A deadline is a measurable that one aspires to. As you know, a deadline is also inherently time-bound, but it also needs to be achievable so that you can ultimately succeed at it.

Deadlines are one of the first things we consider when setting a goal. They’re crucial to the process because they help motivate you to get started, which is often one of the hardest parts of chasing your goal. Establish a deadline that you’re confident in. Like we said before, you can always switch up your recipe.