So you're getting ready to set your goals, but you may be wondering, “How do I set an effective goal? Where do I start? How do I make sure that my goal is a good one?” Well I'm here to help you with that.

Whenever I'm doing Step One: Start Your Journey events for TRADEway, we come to a page in the book that says, “Write your goals down,” and so many times our students say, “Dave, where do I start? How do I do this? I wanna make sure I write a good goal.”

Well, just remember the word smart, S-M-A-R-T.

S, stands for specific. Make sure you have a specific goal. Don't just say, “I need more free time”. What do you need that free time for? What are the things you want to accomplish in life? What ministries do you want to start? What vacations do you want to go on? Who do you want to spend more time with? Be specific about your goal!

M, stands for measurable. This is where the money comes in, this is how you're going to measure your goal. “How much money do I need to reach that goal?” Because every goal is going to require some kind of funding, usually.

A stands for aggressive. Make sure that this goal is something that you're really going to have to work for. Challenge yourself a little bit, don't say, “All right, I want make $50 a month, but if I don't make it, that's not the end of the world.” Whatever your goal is, it needs to be something that you feel challenged by. Whatever you feel would challenge you, go for that!

R stands for realistic. Challenge yourself, but don't make it impossible. Don't say, “All right, I'm gonna be the next Warren Buffett by tomorrow.” Probably not going to happen, right? So be realistic about your goals.

T stands for time-bound. You want to make sure that your goals have a timestamp on them. When do you wanna reach this goal by? Maybe it’s by this time next year. It’s great to set short and long-term goals; a goal for next month, a goal for next year, and a goal for 5 years from now. Write them all down!

If you'll set these SMART goals (specific, measurable, aggressive, realistic, and time-bound) then you will begin to set effective goals. You can begin to take the small steps you need to reach your biggest goals.

“How do I set an effective goal? Where do I start? How do I make sure that my goal is a good one?”