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A quick round up of S.M.A.R.T goals and how you can set your own S.M.A.R.T goals for 2022

A goal is essentially a mental representation of an outcome we desire. Simply put, a goal is the “destination”.

If a goal is the destination, then goal setting is a means of planning the journey to get there. It is our ability to identify the process we need to follow to achieve a specific goal; setting ourselves smaller goals along the way or checkpoints for which we can mark our progress can be helpful too.

Why is goal setting important though?

Motivation is a wonderful thing yet numerous studies have shown that intention to change does not always lead to achievement of a desired goal.

This is also referred to as the "intention-behaviour" gap; we know we want to achieve something, yet we fail to do so. Why is that? Well, we tend to fail to identify “how” we get there.

So, what’s the best method of creating this “roadmap” to get to our destination? Well, it involves using our brains and getting S.M.A.R.T with it…

What are SMART goals?

SMART goals have long been a staple of effective goal setting. The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

This system breaks down the goal into smaller and more manageable chunks, making it easier to achieve. So how can we apply SMART to our goals for 2022?

Well, let’s say you want to save up for a holiday. Your specific goal may be to save $2000 in the next 12 months. That’s measurable - you know exactly how much you need to save. It’s also achievable - if you put away $167 per month, you will have saved the target amount. It’s realistic too - it's an amount that is feasibly achieveable given your present circumstances. Finally, it’s time-bound - you have a definite goal to work towards.

Breaking your goals down into SMART chunks makes them easier to achieve, and also helps you stay on track.

But what if you’re struggling to come up with specific goals? In that case, there are some general SMART goals that can be applied to most areas of your life:

- To be in better shape physically, set a goal to exercise for a certain number of days each week or month.

- To improve your finances, set a goal to save a certain percentage of your income each month or year.

- To read more books, set a goal to read for a certain number of hours each week.