Have you been making SMART goals for yourself? S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Studies show that goals that follow these guidelines are more likely to be reached than broad opened ended goals with no deadline. For example, if you made a resolution to lose weight this year you are less likely to accomplish your goal than someone whose goal was to lose twenty pounds in three months. By giving yourself more rigid guidelines the goals are more concrete. Implementing this sort of goals into your professional life can make all the difference!
So how can you set SMART goals for yourself? Well first you have to answer a series of questions.
To set a specific goal you must answer the six W's:
Who? What? Where? When? Which? Why?
For example, a general goal would be to pass your insurance licensing exam. But a specific goal would be to pass your insurance licensing exam by studying for an hour every day.
To make it measurable you must decide on hard numbers to measure your progress by to help you stay on track. If you aren't sure if your goal is measurable ask yourself questions like How much? How many? In the above specific example you have decided to study an hour every day, which is a measurable goal because you are able to follow your progress.
Attainability is more a frame of mind than anything. Do you really want this goal? Are you willing to put in the time and effort? Make sure you are realistic. Don't claim you are going to study for 3 hours every day when you know you won't be able to live up to that expectation, it is better to be realistic and able to meet your goals.
Is your goal relevant to what you want to achieve? Seems obvious but you want to make sure you aren't being side-tracked by something that ultimately won't help you in the long run. Why are you doing this? What is the end result and is that relevant to your overall desire for the goal in the first place?
The last is very important. You need to give yourself a deadline. Without a time frame you can always fool yourself into thinking you are working towards your goal when you really haven't made any changes at all. A time frame causes a sense of urgency and importance. Don't just make plans to pass your exam, but plan to pass it in a month's time!
Now that you know how to make SMART goals, what are yours? Can ExamFX help you achieve them? Check us out! We've been helping people pass their insurance and securities licensing exams on the first try for the past 60 years and you could be next!