As we face the real world, we are compelled to develop specific skills and attain goals that will take us to a different place where we may not be unfamiliar without the usual help of our parents. Will it be scary? For some, holding on to fear paralyzes them from pursuing their dreams and living within their comfort zone. However, some boldly embrace the change and accept these challenges no matter what.
Remember how we have gotten used to writing our New Year’s resolutions every year and just rewriting them for the succeeding years? For those who have made the same resolutions each year, this only means one thing: you could not follow what you intended to do successfully. As a high school student or college student, you may think that you have all your life to figure out how you can live a happy and contented life. But in reality, life is too short to spend your days not making the best years of your life. Why do you think I said that? I was sitting at home one day and thought about my life and how it would be for the next ten years. Compared to an ordinary Juan, I live a much better life. But I know I have missed so many opportunities in the past, and only if I did take advantage of all those opportunities would things have been different for me now. No, I am not saying that I would have become a millionaire if I had taken a different course. I am merely saying that once you realize that you are good at something, you should take time to hone your skills so you can attract more significant opportunities.
There’s indeed no use in crying over spilled milk. Me being at my age now, my only wish is that the new generation will be able to read this and realize how lucky they are to have been given a life. Yours may not be as easy as the others, but hope always exists. Just believe you can do anything if you devote yourself to knowing who you are and discovering where you ought to be happy.
Prepare yourself with these SMART goals to get the motivation you need to empower yourself. First and foremost, what do SMART goals mean?
S- specific: Target an area where you want to make improvements.
M- Measurable: To use an indicator to measure the progress for your goals.
A – attainable: Determine who will take action and how it would be done.
R – realistic: State the results of what you have accomplished using your available resources or data.
T – time-related: Identify the time frame in which your goals can be achieved.
Let’s define each.
Specific. There is a need for you to identify which you should need to focus your goals on to come up with effective planning. The 6 “W’s” are helpful guides to determine your goals. You should know how to respond to the following questions.
“Who is involved?”
“What do you want to achieve?”
“Where will the goal you have in mind be completed?”
“When do you intend to take action?”
“Which impediments could hinder you from pursuing your plan?”
“Why do you want to do it?”
Did you know that those who set specific goals tend to be happier? This is because their goals are well-thought, and they have identified how to make them happen by starting with a plan and putting action into it. You cannot just say that you want to be a successful doctor without doing anything. This needs work – patience, sacrifice, perseverance, responsibility, and accountability. When you set your mind toward a goal, do you see yourself reaching out to that flag on top of the summit, or do you feel entangled with uncertainties? You cannot lead your life being afraid and not knowing what could have happened next if you do not push yourself into making that step in pursuing your goal.
Measurable. This will answer the “how” of what your goal is. Let’s say you plan to start a small business this year. To begin this project, you must list everything you need to accomplish. From ensuring that you have the skills necessary to become an entrepreneur, having the right mindset, having the knowledge about the business that you have in mind, and having the resources needed to fund the business. You start with a business plan. This will act as your guide in starting the business and help you have a better perspective on the business flow. Knowing the importance of having a business plan, no matter how small your business is, ensures that you are guided step-by-step. Additionally, if you feel lost or not confident enough about what you have planned, you can always seek advice from a business consultant. Measure each step you have taken and re-assess if what you have done so far is leading towards your goal.
Attainable. You need to set goals that are easily accomplished or reached. Indeed, there should be no limit to what your dreams in life are. These challenges along the way should push you to come out of your comfort zone and pursue your goals despite the difficulties. It is your discretion whether you would take the easy or challenging road. The key to attaining such plans is to assess your current life and then set an objective to challenge your capabilities.
Realistic. It is easy to sit down on a chair and dream all day about all the great things you want. However, not everything you think can be realistic to a person. Your goals should be based on how you live your life – career, desires, relationships, attitude, etc. You may dream of becoming the first Filipino astronaut. However, your life is gearing towards a different direction.
As a child, we have always wanted to become a person of importance, like a doctor, lawyer, nurse, or teacher. We have our heroes as we grow up. But at different stages in our life, we look beyond what is just lovely. We take the importance of the significance of what we want to be. Therefore, we spend our time learning how to become one.
Simply put, you cannot think of wanting to be a doctor and then wanting to be a lawyer overnight without the proper preparations (correct mindset, resources). It’s sad, however, that goals are not met even if we can completely set our hearts out to become a great surgeon but do not have the means to support the dream. And when we get disappointed, sometimes it affects our attitude towards others and life. Hence, we need to train our minds to focus on realistic goals and re-examine if they can be achieved.
Time-related. Whatever goal you have in mind, you need to have a plan on when you intend to start taking the steps and determine how long it would take you to achieve it. You need to write down all the details of your grand plan. For example, if you are used to cramming back in college, this might not be wise if you intend to buy a new car. You don’t need to be working 18 hours a day for seven days so that you can buy your dream car. Although you see it as persistence in reaching your goal, you neglect looking into your health as you set your eyes on the prize. Give yourself some reasonable time before you achieve your goals. Nothing can be done with just a flick of a finger.
SMART Goals Examples
Here are some powerful SMART Goals examples to inspire you to start your journey.
- Live within a budget. Some people who started earning their own money tend to go crazy spending without thinking of the repercussions. The temptation to buy the latest gadget, the recently launched designer bag, or take a trip will always be there. Set your monthly goal of saving at least 20% of your income. The 50% should be for necessities such as housing, grocery, and transportation. The remaining 30% is for discretionary items such as meals at a restaurant, entertainment costs, recreational expenses, etc.
Most of us fall short when budgeting our finances because we expect the money will always be available monthly. It is worth noting that your employment tenure is not always an assurance. It is best to learn to save as early as you start earning. You might even consider starting an investment offered by your local banks. For individuals as young as 18, a minimal amount of Php2,000.00 a month can be a good start. My son started when he was 19 years old. With a 10-year term plan, he can cash out Php750,000.00. You can contact the nearest banks to learn more about this bank product.
- Choosing to eat healthy food. Hamburger, pizza, and pasta- the all-time favorite go-to food. They have become part of any family’s dinner table as people have become busier. Being left with such low energy after a day’s work, one may call for food delivery or grab something on their way home. Do you know that there are at least 27M obese Filipinos? Obesity is caused by unhealthy eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle.
Set your goal into eating more fruits and vegetables, at least 1-2 servings each day (which should gradually increase as you would prefer taking them as your snack, as well), to walk 15-30 minutes at least three times a day, to do grocery shopping once a week, and cook your food instead of eating junk food. If you think you don’t have enough time to cook each day, you can cook your meal ahead of time and place it in the freezer and reheat it in the microwave when you get home.
- Value relationships. Millennials have become so busy with their careers and businesses that some have become estranged from their own families. They are goal-oriented individuals, which is one reason why I admire them. However, they are likely inclined to be with their friends most of the time. I may be an old-fashioned individual, but I do see the importance of strengthening family relationships. Indeed, we have a strong bond among friends, but my family is more important than anyone else. There are indifferences, for sure, but I think that if everyone is willing to listen to what everyone needs to say, they can build a better relationship, and home will feel like home again. It may take a little while before everyone comes to terms. Eventually, everyone will feel love for one another.
- Learn to meditate. Meditations are a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. If you want to live longer and enjoy it with your family and friends, learn to give yourself some time off from all the everyday stresses and noise. It may not be easy at first, but as you experience the calmness you feel, you will start to understand how it can significantly benefit your well-being. Meditation allows you to reboot yourself as it aids in managing anxiety, reduces inflammation, and improves memory. Meditation helps you find the solution to a problem rather than getting overwhelmed on how to solve it.
If you have a big house, you can transform a corner or use a room to become your meditation space. Teach yourself to be calm and free your mind from all the negativities. You don’t need to decorate the room. A mat, a small table, and a scented candle are all you need to help you relax. You will be amazed by its positive effects on your body and mind.
Do you think you can manage to apply these in your daily life? Nothing can be difficult to achieve if you have set your mind to create a better version of yourself. All it takes is guts!
These are just a few SMART Goals examples that will help you through your personal development. Stay tuned to more of these in our future articles.