It’s been said that people who don’t have written goals end up working for people who do. The human mind is in many ways very similar to the software in your computer, in that it requires detailed programming to make it work. Just as your computer is worthless without its programming software, so is your brain without written goals.

There are many compelling reasons for you to set goals, not only in your personal life, but for your business development as well. Psychologists tell us that people who take the time to write down their objectives on paper tend to live happier lives, experience less depression, and live longer on average than those people who don’t set goals.

Begin by programming your mind with SMART goals. SMART is an acronym to help you convert your ideas and good intentions into meaningful goals that can be accomplished.

Here’s what SMART stands for:

Specific
If you don’t know where you want to go, any road will take you there. So you must set down the what, why, who, when, and how of your goals. Make sure each goal is clearly stated and defined. Try to combine as many of your goals together as possible so that you are able to accomplish more in less time.

Measurable
If you can’t measure your goal, you can’t manage it. Break down your goal into bite-size tasks and create checkpoints to monitor your progress in order to create positive momentum. Stay flexible with your goals and don’t be concerned if you need to make some changes to your goals as you advance toward their accomplishment.

Achievable
Be mindful not to set too large a goal or too short a timeframe. Your goals should stretch your capability, but at the same time they need to be “mentally attainable” so you don’t lose interest.

Realistic
Do you have the time and resources to achieve your goals?

Time-bound
Set meaningful deadlines to give your goals a sense of urgency. Without meaningful deadlines, you run the risk of having your goals fade away into the mist of procrastination. If you want to reach your full potential and achieve greatness in your life and career, you must begin today to focus your mind on the attainment of SMART goals.