Here we are, the last leg of our journey together along the 5-step SMART goal framework. If you’ve missed the last one, you can get it here.
So: we’ve clearly defined our goal in the most specific terms possible, we’ve outlined metrics to ensure we are on the correct road along the way, we’ve checked to be sure our goal is achievable, and we’ve ensured our goal is relevant to our values, long term path and workplace strategy (if a work-related goal).
Last but not least, the final step is timebound. Why is this important? Whether you’re a steady Eddie work at a gradual pace, or a “last minute Charlie,” we are all motivated by a deadline. Setting that realistic but ambitious timeframe for our goals inspires that healthy competition we should have with a very important person: ourselves. Also, if we have an undefined timeframe for the goal, then why does the goal have value? Where is the urgency to chase this goal?
Let’s return to our fearless cross-country driver. He knows he wants to reach New York City in 6 days so he can go to his buddy’s wedding (don’t ask why he doesn’t just fly—I would, but this isn’t about me). Now he can plan his trip. He knows he needs to be in New York City by a certain day and time. He also knows he needs to plan for sleep, stretch and meal breaks, and needs to factor in possible traffic delays. Using mileage and time estimators, he can plan out where he wants to be by the end of each day to sleep. Now that he has his goal, he can keep himself on track for timely meal and stretch breaks so he meets his nightly targets.
Imagine if our ambitious friend set no timeframe to complete his trip. He could spend any amount of time taking sightseeing detours, linger over meals, and sleep in, instead of rising early to hit the road. The trip could take weeks! There would be no urgency to complete it (except, maybe his bank account or rising credit card bill).
As you think about your goal, what is the urgency behind your goal? What timeframe should you set? Why? Back to the “A” step, consider, is it achievable?
I hope you enjoyed riding along in this series with me. If I can help you achieve your goals, you can contact me here
Encountering resistance on your goals journey? Download your free “Working Through Resistance Guide” here
Photo Credit: Danielle MacInnes via https://www.unsplash.com