Yesterday, I shared #9 on my list of the Top 10 Strategies to accomplish your New Year’s Goals & Objectives. Here is #8:

8. STRETCH… DON’T FANTASIZE

A powerful strategy for creating goals is to leverage the SMART mnemonic. While there are many definitions, SMART usually stands for:

S – Specific (or Significant)
M – Measurable (or Meaningful)
A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented)
R – Relevant (or Rewarding)
T – Time-bound (or Trackable)

Setting a specific or significant goal requires you to provide detail that clearly outlines your objective.

A measurable or meaningful goal puts an actual number on the board so you are clear on whether or not you accomplished what you set forth to do.

An attainable or action-oriented goal means identifying what is realistic and not based on pure speculation or far-fetched objective.

A relevant or rewarding goal is built from the foundation of identifying what is applicable to your business or industry.

A time-bound or trackable goal is one that is tied to a specific date for the attainment of the objective set forth.

For example, stating that “your business will realize annual income of $1MM” does not meet the criteria of SMART. Stating that “your business will realize $1MM in personal development product sales by the December 31, 2016” does. These subtle, yet important, details are paramount to your ability to hone your focus, achieve your defined goals, and maintain enthusiasm for doing so.

That said, if you’ve never made more than $35,000 per year in your life, stating that you want to earn $500,000 this year is only setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s not my intent to be a killjoy, but reality dictates certain constraints if you want to set goals that are actually attainable.