Goal setting is a term commonly given for the process of setting and working toward clearly defined goals. By acquiring the skill of goal setting, you will develop successful habits that will guide you to the achievement of all the goals you desire and deserve.

The following acronym is a simple guide for creating and achieving S.M.A.R.T. goals:

S - Stands for SPECIFIC. The question to answer here is "What should be achieved?"
To make sure your goal is specific, you need to provide enough detail so that there is no misunderstanding as to what and how you go about achieving your goal. For example, a goal of: "To lose weight" is not a specific goal. A much better goal would be: "To lose 10 lbs within a month by changing my eating habits and going to the gym three times a week."

M - Stands for MEASURABLE. The question to answer here is "What criteria will be used to ascertain accomplishment?"
The point of setting a measurable goal is to make sure you are going in the right direction while at the same time making progress. Your goal should have tangible evidence of a start and a completion. Producing tangible evidence requires you to periodically check your progress along the way. This will allow you to adjust yourself to get back on track if necessary.

A - Stands for ATTAINABLE. The question to answer here is "Are they achievable?"
You know that your goal is becoming attainable when the goal that may have one time seemed so far away and out of reach is suddenly starting to move closer and becoming more attainable. It is important to know that your goal should be set by you rather than someone else. You know best what your strengths and weaknesses are and can use this information to maximize your efforts toward attaining your goal.

R - Stands for REALISTIC. The question to answer here is "Are they realistic?"
To be considered realistic, you must be both willing and able to work toward your goal. Your goal will be considered realistic if you truly believe that you can achieve it. It is important to keep in mind that you are the only one who can determine whether your goal is realistic or not.

T - Stands for TIMELY. The question to answer here is "By when?"
It is important that you attach a timeframe to your goal. If not, your goals become dreams and wishes and your chances of actually accomplishing them will be greatly minimized. Write down your goals or put them in your outlook calendar to remind yourself of the persistence and commitment you are going to set forth to achieve them. Don't just dream it, achieve it by establishing S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Now that you have the fundamentals of goal setting, keep the S.M.A.R.T. acronym in mind whenever you decide to establish any goal in your life.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Al Infande is President of Infande Associates, Inc., a full service consulting firm providing Human Resources/Training and Development programs for business and industry. Dr. Infande also serves as a University Professor where he teaches courses in Human Resources Management. Dr. Infande has earned several Ph.D.s in the areas of Organizational Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and Human Resources Development. He has developed and delivered an array of seminars and workshops for both academicians and corporate executives. During his career, he has written several publications in the areas of Adult Education, Training and Development, and Stress Management.