A good system to follow if you want to begin setting your own goals is the “SMART goals” system. The acronym stands for:
• SPECIFIC – Be really specific about what your goal is and how you are going to achieve it. Instead of simply saying “earn more money” say “ increase salary by 15%”. Try to include names and numbers of who can help you and how where possible and also include ways to measure if you’re getting close to your goal or not.
• MEASUREABLE – Try to express your goal in a way that can be verified solidly. Things like happiness are quite difficult to assess so you might choose to record your happiness in a daily diary and assess it out of 10 at the end of each day, this way you know what it averages. This will also help you to be more specific as mentioned above as you will be able to say “ raise my happiness from 2 to 7” instead of a vague, be happier goal.
• ACTION ORIENTED – Set goals you can map into actions. Before setting a goal it is a good idea to have some idea of how you’re going to achieve it.
• REALISTIC – It is true that with hard work, determination and the right mindset we could achieve great things, but it is still important to bear in mind how long the process might take. It’s fine if you want to be a millionaire or buy a house but be realistic about how long it will take you to achieve this because you will only face disappointment if you don’t attain your set goal.
• TIME ORIENTED – Deadlines and timeframes are a good way to gage how realistic something it. Set times which are a little bit … tingly – but not laughable or terrifying. With our happiness goal example, you might add a deadline to it.