The end of the year is traditionally the time when people set goals for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, many struggle to achieve those goals and even find it hard to keep the focus longer than a few weeks into the New Year.

To help succeed at reaching the objectives you set, make sure each goal bears certain characteristics recommended by the experts at MindTools. Using an acronym to help guide you, setting SMART goals means you can specify your desired outcome, focus your efforts toward achieving that outcome allowing you to use your time and resources wisely, which all works towards increasing your chances of reaching your goal.

To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable)
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)

To expand on the effectiveness of setting SMART goals, MindTools recommends including additional focus areas; SMARTER, which includes Evaluated and Reviewed. To know more about SMART Goals, click here.

Offering helpful advice, here are what some of the popular experts suggest to help move you toward success.

  • Tony Robbins, an American author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and life coach: “Decide what you’re absolutely committed to achieving, take massive action, and notice what’s working or not. Then, keep changing your approach until you’ve achieved what you want.”
  • Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series: “Write your goals down in detail and read that list every day. Then ask yourself, what can I do today to move closer to achieving one of my goals?”
  • Zig Ziglar, author, salesman, and renowned motivational speaker, provides this simple truth: “You do everything better when you’re thinking positively than when you’re thinking negatively.”

Regardless of size, goals large or small can be the stepping stones to a happier life. “Well begun is half done” (Aristotle) pertains very well to goal setting. It makes a difference in how we set our goals on the end result of accomplishing those goals.