Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How can we achieve SMARTER goals?

By Shelagh Braley, COO
Conventional wisdom says in order to reach your goals, they must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. This process has been proven successful time and again in business. But when you want to rev up your life across the board—not just at work—creating SMART goals can get a little boring, just like work.
So how can you infuse the SMART goal method with more motivation, to put to good use in all areas of your life?
Try adding these two tips to generate SMARTER goal power.
1. Explore areas beyond your knowledge.
Are there places you don’t know about? Experiences you’ve never heard of? If you stretch your imagination, your information-gathering skills and your concept of what is possible, you might find the world is even bigger and more exciting than you thought.
This was one discovery I made on the site, quite by mistake, and it’s always been my favorite. I instantly added it to my life list. The brilliantly colored, mystical photos alone are reason enough to go.
2. Reconnect with your past successes.
Are there moments you look back on that make you feel amazing and accomplished? What did you do to make them happen? It’s likely you had a point of inspiration, support and a solid plan. But did you take enough time to share your new-found knowledge to solidify your expertise or to help someone else achieve a similar goal?
According to positive psychology studies from Harvard Medical School, happiness generates far-reaching results (even for people we do not know, through social network effects) and this becomes a major influence on our emotional stability, achievement motivation and collective knowledge.
Maybe there’s something on My Life List that will inspire you today. If you find it, be sure to celebrate that inspiration, get yourself in action and pass it on. These two little extra steps will ensure that your goals match your dreams—and help you actually achieve them.

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