Realistic and well-defined objectives are more attainable than those that are vague.
After all, goals should set you up for success. One simple and effective method to help you succeed is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Here’s an example of how it works:
Specific – Ensure your goal is specific, with as much detail as possible. Think of the who, what, when and why.
Instead of: “I want to start jogging.” Consider: “I want to be able to do a 10-kilometre jog by the summer, so I can feel healthier.”
Measurable – How are you doing? Knowing your progress along the way can help you reach your goal.
Instead of: “I will put my running shoes on.” Consider: “I will use my fitness tracker to calculate my steps and distance each time I go for a run, and record the results in my journal.”
Attainable – Determine how you will reach your objective. These are actionable steps you can take to get there.
Instead of: “I will jog every week.” Consider: “I will jog three times per week, starting with one kilometre in week one, two kilometres in week two and so on.”
Realistic – This is all about managing expectations and being realistic about what you can achieve (and don’t be too hard on yourself!). It’s a good idea to think about how the goal will benefit you.
Instead of: “I will run the half-marathon this spring.” Consider “By starting low and working my way up to 10 kilometres, I will improve my stamina and endurance, and feel healthier.”
Timely – Give yourself an end date! Recognize how much time you need to reach your goal (be realistic). It could be a good idea to set some timelines and plan ahead.
Instead of: “Spring.” Consider: “April 30, 2020 – 12 weeks to reach 10 kilometres, including a two week buffer in case of unexpected circumstances.”
Check out this article on taking a goals-based approach to financial planning, then talk to your advisor – they are the best person to help you get started and ensure you stay on track to meet your objectives.
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