How to use S.M.A.R.T. goals to excel

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By Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty, President & CEO, SHE VET, iNC.

November is considered many things to most people. For most business owners, it’s the fourth quarter. For goal-setters, it’s near the end of the year, and to the average individual, another month. As you can see, closing out another year has a different meaning for everyone. Many times, we look at life as if we’re expected to see the next day, and the visions we’ve had will work out without any participation or intentions from our efforts.

I remember when I had no clue what it meant to “create the future I desired” until I learned how to use S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Parts of my mind believed I needed to have permission to accomplish some of them. So, I did not attempt to try. Until one year, I noticed my status wasn’t any different than the year before. I had to figure out a different way to accomplish what I wanted or sit and watch years go by while my physical fitness goals, performance appraisals, and relationships would become stagnant. That was a game-changer! I realized I had to shift positions for things in my life to change. That’s when I learned how to become proactive in my career and life.

I used the following S.M.A.R.T. Goals principles and began going in the direction I’d hoped for all along.

Specific: What will be accomplished? What actions will you take?

Measurable: What data will measure the goal? How much? How well?

Achievable: Is the goal doable? Do you have the necessary skills and resources? How must you prepare yourself to accomplish your goals?

Relevant: How does the goal align with broader goals? Why is the result significant?

Timebound: What is the time frame for accomplishing the goal? Does the time allotted appear to be realistic?

It’s essential to understand the power of focus when creating goals. If you identify more than three at a time, it’s easier to get lost and discouraged. By choosing to be focused on less than three S.M.A.R.T. Goals at a time, you allow room for expansion and freedom to adapt. Once you identify the top three things you desire to work toward, write out the steps necessary or required to make it possible. Be intentional about the outcome you want to receive and take it further by researching the best method possible.

Find an accountability partner or someone you can trust to help you move along. Perhaps they’re willing to go on the journey with you, and the two of you can succeed at the same time? Once you accomplish that audacious goal, choose another, and start over again. Be sure to celebrate your success in achieving that physical fitness goal, receiving that outstanding performance appraisal, and any ongoing relationship goals that you were strategically S.M.A.R.T. about attaining.

Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty

Sistah Soldier is an inspirational activist who helps veterans, women, and minorities step into the call of God for their lives. She’s the CEO, host, and executive producer of the SHE VET™ iNSPIRES.com television show, and the executive recruiter for SHE WORKS Digital™.

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