S-M-A-R-T Goals: How to Set Them
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“I am going to lose weight this year!”
“I will get a bonus from my boss!”
“This year is going to be when I travel around the world!”
We all have dreams, goals, visions for ourselves. For some reason, though, we often fail to achieve them. A doughnut eaten after 6 pm, a bonus given to another colleague, long days at home dreaming of adventure and suddenly our dreams are not as doable. Why do we fail at reaching our stars? We are capable of doing it, and most of the time, our dreams are not so hard to grasp. So what interferes with our way to a better future?
The problem is a poorly planned goal. To keep up your motivation and focus, you need a very detailed statement and a realistic plan to achieve what you want. That is why people came up with the SMART technique. SMART is an abbreviation that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bounded. This technique makes sure that a person achieves their goal. Let’s look at how you can use the SMART technique to achieve your goals.
Your goal should be clear and very detailed. You should be able to envision it using the description you have given it. Don’t leave anything to imagination. Everything you want, you need to write down on paper so it helps you focus on it. When you write S-M-A-R-T goals, try to answer these questions:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- Why is the goal important to you? What does it bring emotionally, physically, financially, etc?
- When do you want to achieve it?
- Where is this goal located? (For example, if you want to move somewhere.)
- What actions will you take?
- What resources do you have? (time, money, network, etc)
Let’s look at an example:
Poorly structured goal: I want to lose weight.
Specific goal: I want to lose 5 kg by the 31st of May of 2022. I will go to the gym near my house 3 days a week to do weight training with an instructor, drink 3 litres of water every day, and get rid of dairy and bread from my diet.
Now that you have described your goal in detail, you need to make sure it is countable. What will signal that you reached your goal? Without clear numbers, it is unachievable by default. Tracking numbers and setting mini-deadlines in between will ensure that you slowly but surely move towards reaching your dream. The questions you can use to check your goal are:
- How many/much? (How much money do you want to gain? How much weight do you want to lose?)
- What is my indicator of progress? What are my mini-deadlines?
In our example, 5 kg is our final goal. 3 days a week and 3 litres of water every day help us understand what we need to do a week. However, we lack progress deadlines.
Progress deadlines: By the 1 March, I will have gone to the gym 24 times.
These deadlines will not only help us know if we keep up with our goal, but it will also bring a sense of satisfaction. Deadlines and measurable quantities help to see the progress, even if you don’t see it in your life yet.
Can you achieve your S-M-A-R-T goals? They should be challenging enough, so you need to fight for them, but not unreal so they are impossible to get. You need to have resources to know how you are going to achieve your goal.
Questions to consider:
- How will you achieve this goal?
- Do you have the resources to do it (time/money/people)?
- Has anybody done it before? If not, then what stopped them? Will you be able to overcome it?
Example: Do I have the money to pay for a personal trainer? Will I have time to go to the gym three times a week? Has anybody lost 5 kg over 6 months?
Your goal is supposed to be realistic. You cannot expect yourself to lose 5 kg in a week (don’t believe advertisements!). Now you need to look at everything you have written and tell yourself honestly if you are being over-optimistic.
No, move to the next step.
Yes, you need to adjust your goal. You may need to extend your deadline, so you can gain what you want or if you have a fixed deadline, making your goal smaller. Adjusting does not mean that you are giving up on your dream. Not at all. Instead, you bullet-proof your plan, so you don’t have to regret not achieving it later.
Example: I realized that 5 kg is a lot to lose in six months considering my health, so instead, I propose to lose 5 kg in 8 months. My new deadline is the 31st of August.
Your S-M-A-R-T goals should have a start and end date. You don’t want to drag it over the years and hope that on Monday you are going to start again. Set yourself a clear deadline and follow it through.
Question: What is your deadline?
Example: By the 31st of March, I have to lose 5 kg.
Overall your S-M-A-R-T goal should look approximately like this:
I want to lose 5 kg by the 31st of March of 2022. I will go to the gym near my house 3 days a week to do weight training with an instructor, drink 3 litres of water a day, and get rid of dairy and bread from my diet.
1 March – 24 sessions at the gym
We are sure that using the S-M-A-R-T system you will be able to achieve any goal you set for yourself and no new year’s resolutions will be able to scare you again.
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.