Setting goals for yourself is an important skill to develop in life. Developing short-term, mid-range, and long-term goals can help you create a solid plan for your future. But, where do you start in your quest to improve yourself? 

When you sit down and try to come up with some winning ideas, setting goals could seem like a more difficult undertaking than you were expecting. However, if you know how to construct your goals, you will be much more likely to achieve them. Here are some vital characteristics all of your goals should have.


Let’s say you want to make more money in your job. That is a fantastic goal that can give you and your family more financial security. To improve your chances of success, make that goal more specific. Look at your skill set and expenses and come up with a specific amount you’d like to reach or surpass, such as an increase in pay by 25 percent.


You should be able to measure your progress on your way to achieving your goal. For example, if you want to run a marathon, you will have benchmarks along the way of incrementally increasing distances. These benchmarks help you see whether you are on track. Treat any goal like you are planning for a marathon, and make sure you can track your success as you go.


If you signed up for a triathlon, but the extent of your swimming experience is some doggy paddling in Porto Bella’s pool, you may want to rethink your plans. Setting your sights high and pushing yourself is commendable, but don’t go for something that you can’t achieve. You might find yourself discouraged and give up.


How does this goal fit into your life? Do your short-term goals line up with your long-term plans? Make sure you work on achievements that are important to you. Picking less relevant goals could not only be a waste of time, but you might not feel much motivation to get them done.


An open-ended goal is just begging to be set aside and forgotten. Give your goals a time element and hold your feet to the fire to get it done. Make sure your time frame is realistic, just like your goals. Instead of losing 10 pounds in a month, give yourself two months to drop the weight in a healthy way.

Goals are meant to be difficult—that’s how you know they are worth achieving. Setting goals the SMART way will help you check those goals off your list.