1.4 Be SMART…!

Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them- a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill. Successful professionals thrive in the same manner. We all have natural talents. If we use that talent to set our goal in life, we can easily get success in life. We shall not achieve our goals if we do not take action to achieve them.

Setting goals has two valuable assets – a sense of originality and a stepping stone to illuminate the path. Goals put one at the helm of life; pursuing them acknowledges a better future situation. They help to steer a course of life rather than simply drifting along and letting things happen.

Setting goals may appear easy, but, for some, it is quite challenging. Fear of failure may be avoided in the absence of any goals. After all, one has to decide what one wants to achieve in the end. To accomplish goals, experts recommend a five step approach.

SMART goals are a methodology of thinking that helps people reach success. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound.

SMART goals have a specific rubric:

Specific: Involves identifying a specific area for improvement. The more specific the area, the more refined the achievement of one’s goal can be. It makes it easier to set parameters and work towards the goal. For exaxmple, if it is building a house, what exactly is the capacity required and how long can it stretch?

Measurable: Quantifying goals provides specific ways to track progress against goals. This makes it easy to benchmark performance throughout the goal period, including areas to improve. While playing football, one’s exact role and position has to be clearly defined.

 Achievable: Setting goals that can be completed in the designated period of time. Often, these goals may act like stepping stones to help meet broader goals that further define a career. As students, we can’t become a President, a Prime Minister, but can hope to reach those heights in future.

Realistic: It is important to create goals that are within one’s current skill set or area of expertise. Building expertise takes time, so expecting to become an expert in a short amount of time is unrealistic. Being realistic will make it easy to be successful at attaining goals. If defensive and not aggressive, the goal perhaps lacks realism. We must have the clear picture in mind and must have the ability to adhere to that picture.

Time-bound: Establish time parameters around each goal, as it will help increase focus and accountability. To reduce weight we know how to go about it. But without consistent time – bound action, it never becomes a reality. It may be exercise, diet and stress-free thoughts. All these have to be practised and implemented without hesitation, doubt or indifference, but within a deadline.

 Visions, wishes, intentions and dreams are all valuable. They spark off imagination and encourage us to define where we want to reach. In order to get there, however, we need to bring life images, down to earth and plan to execute our strategies. The quality and quantity of energy we put forth, directly impact the results. Life is something like a trumpet. If we don’t put anything in, we can’t get anything out.

Success is a walk in the dark. Finding the right footing, precisely mastering the skills and getting to the next place, all depend on how we approach and tackle the problem. The best way to get from where we are, to where we want to be is to find the footing of our next step. When we take the next step, it should support and hold us without a crack.