Living SMART

The best way to achieve your goals starts by writing them down.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing goals down, or at least announcing them to others, substantially increases your odds of achieving those goals.
  • Just make sure the goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound.
  • SMART goals keep you motivated and growing throughout your life. Get your heart, your emotions and your brain around your goals.

Studies have shown that if you put your goals in writing, you’re far more likely to achieve them. When you ask a group of people, “How many of you have goals?” all the hands shoot up. But when you ask, “How many have written goals?” most of the hands go down. So why don’t we put our goals in writing?

First you need to know how to construct goals that are really going to work. To do that we use the SMART system which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound:

  • Specific. This is the who, what, where, when and why of the goal.
  • Measurable. A concrete criteria: how much, how many?
  • Attainable. Start with an action verb because you want it to be attainable. You want some action to take place.
  • Realistic. You’ve got to be willing and able. It can’t be something beyond your reach. It can be a little bit beyond, but it can’t be too far.
  • Time-Bound. If you don’t put a specific time table on a goal, then it’s not going to happen. There’s no sense of urgency.

If you think about your goals and then then write them down, they get ingrained in your brain. Brain scientists tells us that our “writing thumb” is mapped to more of our brain than any other part of your body–up to 40 percent. So by writing on your brain, you really get engaged in the process. In addition to writing goals down, you can also make a commitment to them by verbalizing your goals to someone who will support you.

Real world examples

Suppose you’re a young couple just starting out together. You may have a goal to save $1,500 a month to purchase a starter home for $300,000 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. You can expand the goal to make it more engaging emotionally by include all the SMART elements. You want action verbs right up front. Let’s take a retired client who has grandchildren. He or she could commit to spending one day per quarter with one grandchild to do whatever they’d like to make it a phenomenal day for the child.

I wasn’t big on writing things down until 20 years ago. That’s when I discovered that if I wrote down my goals every quarter I could accomplish 80 percent of them. A much higher percentage than before.

Speaking of SMART goals, we have two events coming up that you should really consider attending. Write these down:

1. On September 17th or 18th you can learn more about domiciling in Florida. Call (888) 339-5854 to reserve your spot.

2. On October 9th we’re having our Technology Open House where you can learn everything and anything you want to know about technology. There will be lots of different teaching venues there.  Either register online or call our office at 847-441-5644.

We hope to see you there.

800-480-7913 | 

We value your comments and opinions, but due to regulatory restrictions, we cannot accept comments directly onto our blog.  We welcome your comments via e-mail and look forward to hearing from you.


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