Set Specific SMART Goals — overcome attention challenges

I often talk about the importance of SMART goals with my attention coaching clients and workshop participants.  Over the next week or so, I’ll cover each component of SMART goals.  Be sure to review each one to set yourself up for success this year and beyond!

As you probably already know, the S in SMART goals stands for Specific.  Even though we know that it means, it can still be difficult to make sure a goal is specific.  When you set your goals, ask yourself these questions to do a specificity check.

For illustration, consider the following examples of non-specific goals:

  • Organize my desk.
  • Get better grades.

Okay, so I made it a little obvious that these goals are not specific.  Take this opportunity to look at these goals and figure out how to make them more specific.

Organize My Desk
Ask yourself how you will know when you have achieved this goal.  Are you looking for the top of your desk to be clear of clutter, do you need to get your junk drawer clean, or do you need to get your files organized?  Think about the end result that you want.  It may be helpful to visualize your goal.  If you can see what it looks like, you have a better chance of making it specific.  A goal such as, “Remove all of the clutter off my desk and keep my desk clear of clutter,” is much more specific than the earlier example of Organize my desk.

Get Better Grades
If a student wants to improve their grades, I encourage them to set specific grades for each class or a specific grade point average for the current or upcoming semester.  A goal of “Achieve a 3.0 next semester,” will give you something more to strive for than simply to, “Get better grades.”  The level of specificity nees to make sense for you.

When reviewing your goals to ensure they are specific, try asking these questions to yourself to help get them as specific as possible.

  • How will I know when I have achieved this goal.
  • What will it look like when I have achieved my goal?
  • How will I be sure I have met my goal?
  • Can I be more specific?

Next post I’ll talk about the M in SMART goals.  Until then, let us know what goals you are working on and how you are ensuring they are specific!

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