I might be behind the 8-ball on this one (well, since I just started this site last week I do have an excuse), but being that it's a new year and people have their annual resolutions, I thought it would be good to share some tips on how to make SMART goals.
SMART is capped because it's one of those fantastic acronyms we're gonna spell out. I can't take credit for creating this (actually Peter Drucker did), but I have used it for several years in my HR days where I would help professionals create SMART goals (for all my old HR friends – I know it's not the same exact wording so don't call the HR police on me;). The same application can be used in your personal life as well.
Since this adaptation is for your personal goals, the first thing you have to determine if setting goals is something you even want to do – in a professional environment, you kinda don't have a choice (if you wanna keep that job). But, in your personal life, you have to make the decision to do it and motivate yourself.
Be specific about what it is you want to achieve with the goal. If you want to get out of debt (like me!), then state exactly what it is want to do. If you have several cards with balances, list each one individually so you can see what you need to accomplish.
Make sure you can measure your success! During your drive to get out of debt, can you see that balance reducing? That's your way of measuring your success and celebrating those milestones along the way!
Can you actually achieve what you are trying to accomplish? If you have an overwhelming amount of debt, but know there's no way you can pay it all off in your desired amount of time, can you really achieve that? Make the goal something that is attainable so you don't get discouraged and give up all together.
Does the objective make sense with respect to what you're trying to accomplish? I mean, I want to be out of debt tomorrow BUT that's not realistic for me to achieve and I'll give up tomorrow too.
If you have a goal out there without an end date then you have eternity to complete it (and in eternity, Jesus is gonna have something better for us to do than worry about goals!). Ensure your time table attached to the goal is realistic and something that is long enough to give you results.
I hope these are helpful to you. This is what I've followed in my professional life, and now adapting that to my personal life with my big financial goals, my blogging goals and just my daily goals help me to achieve them!