Deadlines are an important motivator in goal setting, so the T in SMART Goals refers to the term time-bound. Time-bound means the amount of time you set aside to achieve your goal. A clear start and end date for your goals is an important part of your goal-setting plan. Setting start and end dates will help you stay on track, focus on your goal, and work toward something. Small deadlines help you stay motivated because you can celebrate your small successes along the way. Deadlines also help with time management, making it easier for you to achieve your goal. Good time management helps you spend your time where it is needed to achieve your goal. Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the allotted time. So if you don’t manage your time carefully, your goals can fall by the wayside and be overtaken by mundane tasks.
Time-bound goals have a start date and an end date. When you set a time frame by which you want your goal to be achieved, it gives you a sense of urgency. Time-bound goals also help you focus on the task at hand by helping you prioritize your daily tasks. It’s easy to get bogged down in the things we need to get done in life, and work and family commitments often take over. Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the allotted time; this means that other tasks will take over if you let them. However, if the goal is time-limited, it helps to prioritize the goal with a sense of urgency.
Mini deadlines are another way that time-bound goals help you succeed. You can set smaller deadlines within your main goal and reward yourself for these small successes along the way. For example, let’s say your goal is to walk for 30 minutes five times a week in the evening after work for three months to get healthier. The time limit here is 3 months. An example of a useful mini-goal might be the 1-week mark. If you check yourself every Friday night and walked for 30 minutes every night after work that week, you have successfully reached your mini-goal. Giving yourself a small reward for reaching the mini-goal will further solidify your success.
Timed goals are an important part of the SMART Goals method. Setting deadlines increases your productivity and contributes to your success.
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