The secret to a successful life is effective goal setting, and the secret to effective goal setting is SMART goals. The magic wand that works it wonders in SMART goals is the ‘M.’
Do you why it’s so important for goals to be measurable? This one property plays the role of the backbone in SMART goals. It eases the way for the rest of the process and increases your chances of moving forward successfully.
Today, you’ll find out all about the significance of measurable goals and how they can enhance your ability to achieve goals in life!
What Are Measurable Goals?
Let’s start by reminding you what SMART goals are and what exactly the ‘M’ stands for.
SMART is an acronym for:
Specificity is self-explanatory. It means that your goals shouldn’t be general or broad. Instead, they should pinpoint all the details. However, you also need to make sure that while making the goals specific, you don’t overcomplicate them. Answer the what, why, how as simply and clearly as possible.
Whatever goal you plan should be realistic. If it’s not achievable, it’s not a goal but only a wish. The difference between a desire and a goal is that the latter can be ticked off with the right efforts.
For example, a wish would be to reach the moon. This on its own is pretty unachievable. However, if you set multiple achievable goals, such as joining an astronaut training program at NASA, you may one day step on the moon for real.
Relevance is extremely significant. Your goals should be relevant to your life’s ideology, your morals, your long-term plans, and also the current circumstances. If you’re already preoccupied with a lot of responsibilities, it’s not a good idea to start something completely new.
Similarly, going for a goal that is irrelevant to your current lifestyle will put you in major jeopardy. For example, you can’t aim to learn water skiing if you’re living in a desert land.
Time-bound goals set a time limit on your goals—you don’t have room to slack. Whatever you plan needs to have a defined due date as well.
Now let’s talk about the most important part—measurable goals.
How do you measure a goal? Basically, this factor is an accountability plan for yourself. By devising measurable goals, you define what exactly will make you successful.
Let’s say you intend to increase your income. How will you know how much increase is enough to tick off the goal from your list?
On the other hand, if you clarify that you want a 10% increase in your current income, once you get there, you’ll know you’ve done it.
Not only does this set a standard for you to reach, but it is also a source of motivation. Without a measure, you might overachieve but still not be satisfied.
The Importance of Measurable Goals
SMART goals have 5 factors. Why is it the most important for goals to be measurable in specific?
Well, the answer is simple. Being measurable automatically fulfills the criteria of the other 4 aspects. Here’s how this happens!
1. Measurable Goals Are Specific
When you’re making a goal measurable, you’re naturally adding more specificity to it.
Look at it this way:
Initially, you had a goal in mind to get fit. However, you cannot really measure anything in this goal. To make it more measurable, you decide to add exercise to your daily routine. It will help you gain stamina, lose the extra inches, and strengthen your muscles.
Once again, you still can’t measure your progress. So eventually, you narrow it down to working out 15 minutes every day.
In this goal, you’re basically measuring how much fitness you want to add to your lifestyle while also making it specific. In fact, you have added more detail this way than you would have if you were trying consciously.
This isn’t any rocket science. Yet, it can be confusing when you’re under the pressure of planning effective goals. So, it’s helpful that simply adding the aspect of measure makes your goals so much clearer and well-defined.
2. Measurable Goals Are Achievable
As previously mentioned, goals that aren’t achievable aren’t goals at all. It is very important to plan something attainable. Otherwise, no matter how well you plan everything and how much you struggle for it, you’ll never reach your desired destination.
There is a fine line between getting unrealistic and going the extra mile. It’s great to want to reach new ends. But sometimes, this ambition can detract you and lead you to something impossible.
For example, it is great if you want to expand your work expertise. Despite working in the sales department for 10 years, you now want to start experimenting in the marketing department as well. Your aim is simply to broaden your skillset.
While this intent is positive, if you plan a goal to work in both the departments side by side, that will be something unrealistic.
If you catch yourself in a confusing state like this, focus your attention on making the goal measurable. It will naturally start becoming more achievable too.
So, what you can do is measure how much expertise you want to increase in the department of marketing. A good example of this wanting to play a marketing executive’s role flawlessly by the end of the month. Furthermore, you can decide to utilize the 1-hour lunch break to learn these skills.
This will give you a set precedent. Meanwhile, you won’t have to overdo things on the marketing side or let go of your responsibilities in the sales department.
3. Measurable Goals Are Relevant
Measurable goals aren’t directly relevant. But if you put in a conscious effort, these two factors get linked very easily.
When you’re measuring a goal to make sure you can track the progress, you subconsciously know in the back of your mind whether or not it can be achieved. This subconscious sound in your mind is reminding you of the goal’s relevance to your ongoing life routine.
Measurable goals need to be precise. When adding this precision to your goals, you get a clear idea of whether or not the goal can fit in your life at the moment or not.
For example, if you plan to add an hour-long workout session to all 7 days of your week, you can get a sense of whether or not you have enough time to fit it in or not.
4. Measurable Goals Are Time-Bound
Time constraints are pretty natural in measurable goals.
Time-bound goals can be divided into 4 main categories; immediate goals, short-term goals, medium-term goals, and long-term goals. So, based on how you’re measuring your progress, you can add a time limit to it.
Let’s say you’ve started an online blog that you want to take forward. Your measurable goal can be that you want to increase the readership from 350 to 500 people per month. Now, whether you want to do that in one month, six months, or one year is a vital part of this goal.
Time-bound goals give you a sense of a deadline so you’re less likely to procrastinate. Hence, your productivity increases.
5. Measurable Goals Give You a Clear Sense of Direction
With specificity and relevance, such goals lead you to a very clear path. There is no blurry vision, you’re well aware of what you’re aiming for, and the entire process is pretty much clear in your head.
Technically, measurable goals define every aspect of your goals so clearly that there is no room left for confusion—there is no room for haphazardness. You won’t get lost in the way. This clarity itself is a huge bliss when you’re aiming for big goals.
Knowing your direction increases your motivation and hence, helps you achieve what you desire quicker and better. Since there are no obstacles in a path like this, your inner self drives you to work harder too. So, if you’re someone who struggles with achieving goals, try making them more measurable for better outcomes.
What matters the most is that whatever you work hard for, you can achieve it. The toughest parts of life are when all your efforts go to waste.
A fool-proof way to keep these dark days at bay is to always develop SMART goals. Whether you’re planning something for work or your personal life, opt for SMART goals in every part of your life to receive success.
What’s even better is that you don’t even have to struggle with all the 5 factors of SMART goals. As long you put in the thought to make them measurable, your goals will inevitably be as SMART as they can be.
Neither is this process time-consuming nor is it hard to implement in your daily life. So, without wasting any more time, start making your goals more measurable for increased motivation, organized life, and higher chances of success!
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Featured photo credit: Isaac Smith via unsplash.com
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