Using the SMART Goals System to Get What You Want
Setting goals is great. Accomplishing those goals is even better! Everyone working on new skills, getting ready for competition, growing their business, or trying to get their ideas heard and accepted knows how important goals are.
Yet, few people use a system to help them set and attain goals.
A number of years ago, when I was on the music faculty at San Francisco State University, my students were struggling with achieving their goals. I was determined to help them solve their dilemma.
Unfortunately, the music world was full of advice like, “Practice harder,” “Take more auditions,” and “Perform more often.” This advice wasn’t exactly what my students needed. So, I looked outside the field of music to find a process that could help my students – and, really, anyone succeed.
What I found was the SMART Goals system.
The SMART Goals system was developed decades ago to help businesses assess and achieve their project management goals. That seemed a far cry from what my students needed. But, with some tweaking and experimentation this system has turned out to be just right not only for the business world, but also for creative artists, athletes, and just about anyone with an important goal in their life.
Each letter in the acronym SMART stands for a property that makes it more likely that you will attain your goal. Here they are:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Risky
T = Timed
If any one of these elements is missing, problems will occur when trying to accomplish the goal.
By giving my students a process to develop and analyze their goals, and by having them put these goals in writing, an amazing change took place: They were able to have more success and to feel better about the process that made the successes possible.
This system actually changed how they use their practice time, how they prepare for those auditions and performances, and how they think about themselves. I now encourage everyone to include SMART Goals in their life. This is a terrific tool to help you create what you want in life.
In later posts, I’ll go through each of the properties that make up the SMART Goals system.