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Set a Deadline for Your Goal

A deadline is an important motivator when you’re goal setting. That’s why the T in SMART Goals refers to time bound. When you set a deadline for your goal, you are better able to stay on track, focus on, and work towards it.

Deadlines also help with time management, making your goal easier to accomplish. Managing your time well helps you allocate your time toward achieving your goal. Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted. Your goals may fall to the wayside and be overtaken by everyday tasks if you don’t set time to work on them. It can be helpful to set your goals as tasks with deadlines in a project management tool such as Plutio.

Time bound goals have start and end dates. Setting a time frame for yourself will give you a sense of urgency. It’s easy to get caught up in everything you need to get done. Life, work, and family obligations often take over. Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted; other tasks will take over, if you let them. Time bound goals keep you focused by helping prioritize your everyday tasks. When the goal is time bound, it helps keep the goal in the forefront, with a sense of urgency.

Set Mini-goal Deadlines Along the Way

Mini-deadlines will help you keep motivated because you get to celebrate smaller successes along the way. Mini-deadlines are another way that time-bound goals help ensure success. Set some smaller deadlines along the way to your primary goal and reward yourself for those small successes along the way.

For example, if your goal is to walk for 30 minutes, 5 times a week for 3 months in the evening after you’re done work, the deadline is 3 months. An example of a useful mini-goal could be at the 1-week mark. If you check in with yourself every Friday evening and have followed through with walking for 30 minutes every evening that week, you have successfully completed your mini-goal. If you allow yourself a small reward for achieving the mini-goal, you will further solidify success.

Time sensitive goals are an important part of the SMART Goals method. Setting a deadline for your goal will increase your productivity and help ensure success.

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