Learning how to write SMART goals is probably one of the best ways you can level up in life.
It takes you from just having a good idea, to being a goal-crushing genius. 👌
So while others are struggling with their own vague target goals, you’re already done with 3 big life goals, and you’re onto the next.
And to help you learn how to write SMART goals and use them, let’s put you in a realistic life example.
Your situation: You’re struggling to figure out how to make affording gas + car payments + your favorite snacks at [insert trendy grocery store] + outings with friends + bills, work without going broke.
So you need a SMART goal for earning more money each month.
More Good Reading:
But First, What Are SMART Goals?
If you’re wanting to hit financial targets (or any other targets), then this is where you need SMART goals.
Now SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
And these parameters will help guide you when it comes to crafting a well-defined goal that will actually happen.
How to Write SMART Goals
Alright, so the example was to create a SMART goal that helped you earn and save more money for the necessities + non-necessities.
And in order to level you up in this part of your life, and make it so that you can afford taxes, bills, and that really cool vacation to Mexico, I’m gonna help you break it down.
Other Good Reads: 30 Life Goal Examples & How to Make Them Work
S – Specific
When setting a financial goal, you need to be specific and ask yourself questions like:
- What is my specific financial target number?
- How do I plan to achieve this goal?
- What are the specific steps I need to take?
- Who is involved in making this goal a reality?
In your case, specificity could mean identifying the exact source of your financial growth. So for instance, if you want to earn more, figure out if you want to achieve this by getting a promotion, starting a side hustle, or changing jobs.
An Example of Specific:
I will increase my monthly income by taking on freelance projects as a graphic designer, alongside my full-time job, and earn an extra $800 per month.
M – Measurable
While being specific is important, measuring your financial goal is just as essential. You need to make sure you’re measuring your progress so that you can know if you’ve reached your SMART goal.
So ask yourself questions like:
- How will I track and measure my financial progress?
- What steps need to happen in order to make this goal measurable?
- What do I need to accomplish in order to consider this goal achieved?
- What are some progress indicators?
To actually make your financial goal of earning an extra $800/mo real, you need to figure out what steps need to be taken so that it’s measurable. Also, you need to track your monthly earnings so that you know you’re on the right path.
An Example of Measurable:
In order to reach my extra income goal of $800, I will sign up for freelance projects on X, Y, and Z sites. I will work 2 extra hours in the evening to market my skills and apply for jobs. I will also track additional income, and current clients, every week with a Google Spread Sheet.
A – Attainable
Take a quick look at your current circumstances and resources. Can you realistically go after this SMART goal without overwhelming yourself?
If not, then it might be a good idea to downsize your goal so that you don’t get discouraged and give up.
Your goal needs to be realistic, so you should ask yourself questions like:
- Is my goal something I can reasonably achieve with my current daily time limits?
- Is this something I really want to pursue right now?
- What is my current number based off of? Is it something I can actually achieve, or is it a number that feels good?
- Do I have the resources to actually make this goal happen?
An Example of Attainable:
I can achieve this goal since I already have 3 years of graphic design experience, and 2 extra hours in the evening to spare. I’ve also done some freelance gigs in the past, so I know how to market my skills and get clients.
R – Relevant
When it comes to making more income (or setting any SMART goal for that matter), it can be kind of exciting.
You like the idea of making a certain amount of income, or even just earning more through a specific type of job. I mean making income from home sounds pretty cool.
But you need to make sure it’s actually relevant to your current needs and situation. Then you know you won’t lose interest, and you’re not going to burn out.
So here are questions you need to ask yourself to make sure this goal is relevant:
- Why am I setting this particular goal?
- How does it fit into my overall financial plan?
- Is this something I can see myself doing in 2 weeks (or even a month) from now?
- If not, do I need to shift and change the number for this goal, or how I want to go about achieving it?
- Does achieving this earnings goal align with my long-term financial objectives?
An Example of Relevant:
This goal is relevant since it’s something I’ve wanted to do for the past year. It’s not a passing idea. Also, I want to have my monthly bills taken care of with this extra income, so that I can save and spend more.
T – Time-Bound
Now to measure your financial success, you need a designated time frame for your SMART goal. Setting a specific time frame helps create a sense of urgency and accountability.
So for the goal of earning more each month, you can ask yourself:
- When do I want to achieve my financial objective?
- By what dates do I plan to initiate and conclude the necessary steps.
- If certain steps and milestones aren’t being reached at certain time frames, what needs to change? How can I alter my steps or goal? What do I need to reevaluate?
An Example of Time-Bound:
I will have reached my monthly extra earnings goal of $800 in 6 months. I will aim to take on 4 projects this month, that equal out to X amount per hour. I will then take on an extra 5 jobs per month with an X hourly wage, and hit the $800 goal by the end of the sixth month.
I hope that this quick guide on how to write SMART goals made planning out your milestones and timelines just a bit simpler.
Also, I know it’s not always the easiest to reach your SMART goals objectives. BUT I also know that you deserve to have a better life where you’re actually seeing dreams become reality.
So just know that you have what it takes to achieve your goals, and I completely believe in you to do it!
PS – If you have any questions, then feel free to ask in the comments down below. I’m happy to help. 🙂
Chasing Foxes was started in 2016 as a way for Grace and her husband, Silas, to start traveling. However, they started to realize that they had a passion for improving themselves, and wanted to help others level up their lives as well. So whether it's with cooking, travel, or staying healthy, they want to help you better your life bit by bit, as they do the same.