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In retirement, it is easy to fall into routines, and many people find themselves complacent with their positions and day-to-day life. At the same time, most people have aspirations and bucket lists for what they'd like to accomplish with their lives, or even simple plans for how they'd like to improve their daily lives.
Setting a goal is easy, but following through and reaching a goal is generally easier said than done. In today’s fast-paced world, excuses for putting off goals are right around every corner. However, using the SMART goal method provides clarity and criteria to increase the odds of achieving a goal.
SMART is an acronym that stands for:
Anytime a SMART goal is set, it should include these five characteristics to ensure that the goal is realistic and achievable.
Setting a SMART goal can help achieve goals such as improving mobility, exercising more, losing weight, planning for major trips, enhancing technology use, cleaning the basement, interacting with family more often, learning a new hobby, and other goals varying in different time and energy commitments.
When setting a SMART goal, the first step is to be as specific as possible to avoid getting off track and staying focused. Start with asking and answering these questions:
Establishing a measurable goal means setting constraints to ensure that progress is shown with evidence. It is essential to ask questions like: How much? How many? How will I know when my goal has been achieved? Tracking progress helps to stay focused, meet deadlines, and feel excited about getting closer to achieving a goal.
Once a goal is identified, determine whether or not the goal is realistic while considering factors such as the time, effort, and money necessary. Ensure that the goal at hand will not overshadow other obligations in life such as family, work, and health (both physical and mental). Lastly, do not introduce a new goal while working on a previous goal. Overlapping goals can be overwhelming and often leads to giving up.
Creating a relevant goal is the most important step to reaching success. Even if a goal follows every other characteristic of a SMART goal, it is unattainable if it is not relevant and important enough to carry out the process. To ensure that a goal is relevant, ask yourself the following questions:
The last step in establishing a SMART goal is to set a realistic and flexible timeline and schedule. First, determine a reasonable start and end date for this goal. Setting too long of a timeline can leave room for distractions and invoke a lack of motivation. Setting too short of a timeline can create unnecessary stress and obsessiveness to complete a goal within the allotted time. Setting a schedule and timeline for a goal makes it more clear and easier to accomplish. A step-by-step schedule can be less intimidating and feel less overwhelming than an aimless goal.
Now is the time! Dig deep and stop dreaming about your goals. Put them down on paper with these SMART characteristics. Hold yourself accountable and watch your progress improve your retirement life!
Let us know in the comments below - What are your SMART retirement goals? '