…and the 8 D Words

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time-constrained

It’s a way of creating goals, goals that you can achieve (attainable). Goals in the SMART way of thinking should be specific and measurable. Not “I want to be healthier”, That’s neither specific nor measurable.

Goals also need to be Relevant to YOU and Attainable by YOU.

And lastly, goals need to be set with a time goal set on them. If you were going on a journey to stay with a friend and it was 5-6 hours away, and you were planning on being there for 5pm, you wouldn’t say, Oh I’ll leave when the feeling takes me would you? No, you would likely say I need to leave by 11am-12noon to be sure of reaching (my goal) my friend by 5pm.

How does SMART fit in with our eight D words? Here’s a reminder of what they are:

  3. DRIVE
  6. DREAM

Let’s start with DESIRE. In terms of SMART, DESIRE is where the goal is Relevant to you. What do you want in life? Do you want to be fitter and healthier? Then your DESIRE is to be fitter and healthier. You can therefore apply SMART to your goal. If your goal was to start running for instance, then that would be relevant to your DESIRE. It fits nicely.

What about DECISION. This is a little more difficult to define except that you cannot reach a goal if you do not first DECIDE to reach it! Come to the business-like DECISION of creating Specific, measurable goals. Set your goal with SMART in mind and then make that DECISION to reach it. Now.

DRIVE stems from how important the DESIRE is to you. DRIVE sits next to DESIRE and Relevance in the SMART goals. Make your goals pertinent to you and you alone and fuel your appetite to reach your goal by DRIVING yourself forward towards it.

Without DISCIPLINE you will not attain your goals. You may have the perfect SMART goal but if you are not DISCIPLINED enough to do the things you said you were going to do, your goal is pointless. If you have a goal that requires certain steps to get there, then be DISCIPLINED to carry out those steps. If you are starting the Couch to 5k running program for instance, then be DISCIPLINED to carry out each run when you are supposed to.

When things get tough, you need a little DETERMINATION to stick to the plan. Don’t change the goal at the first sign of failure. KEEP ON KEEPING ON towards your goal. For sure, when you have setbacks, you may need to adjust the time-constraint aspect of your goal, but if you properly planned your goal in the beginning (making it attainable), then you should not need to adjust the measurable part of the goal, just the time part.

To DREAM is to create a vision in your mind of the end point. What will things be like when you reach your goal? How will you feel? Play a movie in your mind of the moments along the way culminating in what you will feel and do when you attain your goal. DREAM therefore is related to the specificity of your goal. Before you even start writing down your goal (and by the way, you should do that) play a movie in your mind, and DREAM.

DELIGHT is relevant to you. If you have chosen a relevant goal, then you should find great DELIGHT in attaining it. Notice I said attaining, not having attained. By that I mean that you should enjoy the journey. Take DELIGHT and have gratitude in the journey as well as the moment you reach your goal.

DEVELOP your goals based on the success and analysis of previous ones. Surely you are not going to stop making goals once you have achieved one? Nope, being human is all about DEVELOPing, growing and moving on to new things, new heights perhaps.

So that’s it for the 8 D words today and how they fit in with SMART goal setting.

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