As the year comes to a close, it’s not uncommon to reflect over the past 12 months and think about the year ahead. Maybe you’re looking to tweak an existing goal or possibly set a few new ones. Maybe you want to develop a 5-year plan.   Whether you’re making Near Year’s resolutions, setting academic goals, curating desired financial successes, or working towards a healthier lifestyle, setting up an achievable plan is a must. But how do you go about making achievable plans? We may not have the perfectly curated achievable plan to hand out to you, but we definitely have a system that will help you to create one. This system is called “SMART goals” and it works best if you write down your broad goal, and address each of the aspects that are addressed below. Once completed, combine all them together into a few sentences and you will have a strong SMART goal and the start of a plan layout.

Broad goal: I want to start a blog.

This is your starting place. Write down what you want to do or achieve. Just make it simple and leave it broad. It’s the skeleton of your goal.

Make it specific.

I will start a cooking blog using wix.com to share personally curated recipes.

This is where you begin adding the bulk. Ask yourself how you can make your goal more specific. Think location, type, and purpose.

Make it measurable.

I will make my first blog post next month and I will aim to make a minimum of two posts a week. I will measure my progress by how many visitors I bring to my site, as well as my ability to maintain them.

This part is extremely important. This is how you measure whether or not you actually achieved your goal. This is where you’ll come back to later. Think about how you would measure success in regard to your goal. Is it an amount of money you make? Is it a certain number of visitors or customers within a certain timeframe? Pounds lost? Pictures posted? This one is all about the numbers.

Make it achievable.

I will start by establishing my blog on wix.com. Next, I will start creating recipes and writing blogs. I will create five before I begin posting so that I will have some to fall back on if I get too busy to post. I will promote my blog using my personal social media, through referrals from friends and family, and promotion via locally run businesses with strong online presences.

This is basically your strategy. What’s your plan to get started? How will you maintain action towards your goal after you start? Are there any other aspects you need to consider?

Make it realistic.

I will be able to balance my blog within my daily life between work, friends, family, and school. It’s a hobby I enjoy doing and maintaining my blog will bring me more joy than grief.

Is this something you can actually do? Is it realistic? Manageable? If so, this is where you explain why. Why you can do it and why it’s a good idea. Basically, why you will be successful in achieving your goal.

Make it timely.

I will have five blogs finished within three weeks and my wix.com blog will be up in four weeks, along with my first blog post.

To measure if you were successful in achieving your goal, you need to have a timeframe. When will you start? When will you tell if you achieved your goal? Will there be a time you know that you will be finished?

SMART goal:

Within a month, I am going to create a cooking blog on wix.com, which will allow me to share one of my favorite hobbies with lots of people. Within three weeks, I will have created five blogs to fall back on before I start posting in four weeks. I plan to create two blog posts per week and encourage visitors to my site using my personal social media, referrals from friends and family, and promotion via locally run businesses with strong online presences.

Now, combine it all together. You will have a plan to achieve your goal, as well as a timeframe and material to tell whether or not you were successful.

Now go and write your new goal down and stick it on your fridge for motivation! If this method worked for you, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Hopefully, you are now better equipped with the knowledge to create SMART goals for the future.