How to Create a SMART Goals Action Plan
The impact of goal setting is something that cannot be overstated, and deciding to set beneficial goals for yourself is the first step toward improving your life in a significant way.
While setting a goal for yourself is an all-important first step, real progress is achieved when you put your goals into action.
This is why I created the Smart Goals Cheat Sheet – to help people from all walks of life set and achieve meaningful goals in a way that is both straightforward and effective.
If you would like to get as much benefit as possible out of this helpful goals action plan, here are a few tips that you can follow.
1. Set Your Main SMART Goal
A SMART goal is an acronym standing for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound”.
In other words, a SMART goal is specific and easy to define, one that is relevant to the progress you are trying to make, one that is not so challenging that it is unachievable, one that allows you to measure your progress and results, and one that is bound by a deadline that forces you to complete the goal within a specific time frame.
SMART goals are the most beneficial type of goal that you can set for yourself, and, as the name suggests, the Smart Goals Cheat Sheet is built around this specific type of goal.
Decide on the first and most important SMART goal that you would like to strive towards and you’ll be ready to begin progressing through your goals action plan.
2. Create Milestones
Most long-term goals can be broken down into milestones, and these milestones equate to short-term “mini-goals”, so to speak, that enable you to define and reach checkpoints along the way.
By breaking down your SMART goal into these milestones and checkpoints, it becomes much easier to motivate yourself as well as keep track of your progress.
Creating milestones for your SMART goal means that you will always have short-term goals to strive toward as you work toward your primary goal.
Breaking down a major goal into these short-term goals can make the entire pursuit seem much more doable as well as provide you with a motivating sense of reward each time you reach a new milestone.
3. Identify Potential Pitfalls
Whatever goal you are working towards, there are bound to be pitfalls and obstacles along the way.
Identifying and preparing for potential pitfalls ahead of time, therefore, is the best way to keep these pitfalls from catching you by surprise and derailing your progress.
Take the time to sit down and visualize what the road to reaching your goal will actually look like, and write down any obstacles that are likely to stand in your way.
By the time you reach these obstacles, you’ll be ready for them.
4. Outline a Schedule
One of the most important characteristics of a SMART goal is the fact that SMART goals are time-bound.
A goal that has no deadline can forever be placed on the back burner, meaning that setting a deadline for yourself is essential if you want to keep yourself motivated.
Meeting the deadline that you set, though, means that you will need to create and stick to a schedule.
Once you’ve broken your goal down into milestones, divide those milestones up into a schedule that promotes steady progress toward your main goal.
Track Your Progress
Having divided your goal up into milestones and having created a schedule for when you would like to meet those milestones, the final step in the Smart Goals Cheat Sheet is to begin working toward your goal and keeping track of your progress.
Measuring your results and keeping track of your progress serves to keep you on schedule as well as keep you motivated.
So long as you are making progress toward your goal and achieving real results, tracking that progress can serve as a powerful source of motivation.
If you have set a SMART goal for yourself, stay committed and get through your next challenge.
By following the tips outlined above, you should be well on your way to reaching the goal you’ve set.
For more help improving your ability to set and reach meaningful goals, download my SMART Goals Cheatsheet today.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.