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How and Why to make S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Do you feel like you’re just drifting through life? Living paycheck to paycheck, just paddling water and not going anywhere? If you do then continue to read on as we discuss the need to have goals, how to make S.M.A.R.T goals, and reviewing your goals.
If you were to look at the great men today and throughout history and they all have this one thing in common. They had goals. That goal differed from person to person but they had an end state they wanted to reach in mind.

The reason to have a goal is to keep your dream, your vision in the front of your mind while you work to achieve that dream. If you don’t have goals it is far too easy to lose you direction and drift aimlessly, or get discouraged and give up on your dream all together. Goals will motivate you when you’re tired, bored, frustrated, or discouraged.

So how do you go about setting goals? I recommend that you find a quiet area for you to relax and think about what you want. What do you want from life, from your family, from your job? Relax and let your mind wander a bit, and write down what pops into you mind. This flow of consciousness may not make a lot of sense, floating from one idea to another, but it is important to let you mind wander freely and jot down the ideas you come up with. Do not refine, restrict, or edit what your mind comes up with, just relax and write it down. Editing and creating plans to achieve these goals comes later.

After some time try grouping your dreams into categories. These can be anything you want, suggestions include: Education, Financial, House / Home, Family / Relationships, Career. Once you have done some general organizing it is time to refine these ideas and making S.M.A.R.T Goals. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that helps ensure you are able to achieve your goals.

S – Specific: Your goals need to be specific. For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds by the end of November”. Have specific goals keeps you focused, if your goal is to broad or generic you can’t create a plan to meet that goal and you can become discouraged. So, the goal would be to lose 10 pounds by the end of November instead of “I want to lose weight.”

M – Measurable: Your goal should be measurable. This allows you to track your progress so that you can see the finish line. Going back to the weight loss example. If you have lost five pounds, you’re half way to your goal.

A – Actionable: Your goal should be actionable, meaning you should be able to create a plan to meet your goal. Again with the idea of losing weight you could plan to increase your exercise and decrease your caloric intake. How you do that should be again be specific, like I will cut back on the fast food for lunch at work and go walking half an hour each night after work.

R – Realistic: One of the biggest problems with setting goals is making them unrealistic. I want to lose 25 pounds this month. Losing that much weight in so little time is not only hard, but it can be unhealthy. Make realistic goals. I will lose 3 pounds a week, or 10 pounds a month. Having unrealistic goals is more harmful of not having goals. By overestimating what’s possible you quickly become depressed and may even give up on your goals.

T – Time Bound: Having a timeframe for you goal will allow you to prioritize your goals, but also helps motivate you to achieve that goal. Also, there are long term and short term goals. Make sure you have both. Short Term goals are anything that will take up to three months to complete, Long Term goals are goals that will take more than three months to complete. It is important to have both short and long term goals, and your short term goals can be stepping blocks to achieving your long term goal.

Once you’ve created your list of S.M.A.R.T. Goals it is critical to monitor them and review them from time to time. You should review your goals at least every six months, if not every three. Life throws your curves, you may achieve a goal, or a goal may fall off your list for a variety of reasons. So review you goals and see if they still are your goals every 3-6 months. It’s okay for goals to fall off your list, just have another goal to replace them with.

So how does all of this apply to being a gentleman? It goes back to the idea that a gentleman is always learning new things, always trying new things, always evolving. A gentleman is always driven towards a goal of his, whether it is financial independence, travel, or starting a family.

Well I hope you enjoyed this article and thank you for visiting The Dapper Man we hope you have a fantastic day.

Greg from The Dapper Man

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