Are you ready to take your career, business, or personal life to the next level but need help knowing where to start? Well, setting goals is a great starting point! But which type of goal should you focus on? Your options are limited; there are SMART and FAST goals– understanding the differences between them can make all the difference in achieving success.
FAST stands for Frequent And Significant Targets and emphasizes motivation in pursuing big goals instead of focusing strictly on what can be accomplished within a particular time or budget. In this article, we will walk through the do’s and don’ts of using the FAST Goal framework so that you have all the information necessary to decide if this is an effective goal-setting solution for your needs.
Get your pen and pad ready as we take off on our journey toward success!
What are FAST Goals?
FAST Goals are a powerful tool for setting and achieving your objectives in life. By ensuring that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound, you can stay on track and succeed.
When creating FAST Goals, be specific about what you want to achieve. For example, instead of saying, “I want to be healthier,” it is better to set a goal such as “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next three months”. You will have a better chance of succeeding by being specific with your goals. It is also vital that your goal is measurable so you can track your progress and adjust your strategy if needed.
Your goals should also be achievable – don’t set a goal to run a marathon if you have never run before!
- Start with smaller goals that are more realistic and increase their difficulty as you progress.
- It is also essential that your goal is relevant – make sure it aligns with your values and long-term objectives.
- Lastly, ensure that the time frame within which you will complete the plan is reasonable yet challenging enough to motivate yourself to do the necessary work.
FAST Goals help keep people motivated by giving them clear targets that they can work towards to realize their dreams. Having an action plan makes it easier for us to stay focused on our target and take consistent steps toward achieving our goals. With these guidelines in mind, we can create powerful objectives for ourselves that will help us lead successful lives!
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What are SMART Goals?
SMART goals are a widely used and powerful tool that can help you achieve any goal you set for yourself. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These five elements allow you to ensure that your goals are well-defined and achievable within a set time frame.
A specific goal should be clear, concise, and unambiguous about what you’re trying to achieve. For example, instead of saying, “I want to get in shape,” you could say, “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next six months.” When making your goal specific, it’s also essential to consider the why. Why is this goal important to you? What will achieving it do for you? This can help keep you motivated when things get tough.
Measurable goals have tangible outcomes or results associated with them. When setting quantifiable goals for yourself, it’s essential to define what success looks like as early as possible so that progress can be tracked easily over time. You can track progress by keeping a record of your weight loss or keeping track of the number of hours spent exercising each week. Measuring your progress also allows you to adjust course or celebrate success when targets are hit!
Achievable goals are realistic and attainable within the given time frame; they should push but not overwhelm you. Setting an overly ambitious target might lead to disappointment if it isn’t met within the timeframe set out — so be honest with yourself about what is possible while still challenging yourself enough to bring real change into being.
Relevant goals have meaning and importance about where we currently stand and where we would like to go in our lives — even if achieving that goal takes some effort! It’s essential for motivation purposes to ensure that every one of our objectives is relevant and has a personal connection to us on some level. Otherwise, there may be no strong drive behind working towards them!
Finally, time-bound means having deadlines attached – short-term and long-term- so that achieving the objective(s) is planned around those intervals. The time-bound element ensures structure and helps us focus on the tasks rather than getting overwhelmed by long projects without end dates!
Having concrete deadlines allows us to create definite plans with achievable chunks rather than feeling overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable tasks ahead.
Reason Why FAST Goals are Better than SMART Goals
FAST goals are increasingly gaining popularity as they can provide a more effective and efficient way of achieving objectives than the traditional SMART goal-setting process. There are six distinct advantages of FAST goals over SMART ones, making them a better choice for many individuals looking to reach their goals.
Reason 1: FAST Goals are Flexible
While some may view flexibility as a hindrance to goal setting, the flexibility that comes with FAST goals is one of their greatest strengths. Unlike SMART goals, which require set criteria and measurable milestones, FAST plans allow you to be open to different approaches and options when reaching your desired outcome. This enables you to be creative with problem-solving and adapt quickly to changing conditions or circumstances if required.
Reason 2: FAST Goals are Action-Oriented
While SMART goals focus on achievable outcomes and timelines for reaching those outcomes, FAST plans take an action-oriented approach to get the desired result. This means instead of focusing only on what needs to be done to achieve a particular goal, FAST goals emphasize taking quick, decisive action to begin making progress towards it immediately. The idea is that you’ll eventually move closer to your ultimate objective efficiently by taking small steps consistently over time.
Reason 3: FAST Goals are Specific
Unlike SMART goals, which may contain broad language or terminology that needs more clarity or direction, FAST plans require specificity to succeed. Having clear objectives and tangible outcomes associated with each one will help ensure that you remain focused on the task at hand while avoiding potential distractions.
Reason 4: FAST Goals are Time-bound
With SMART goals, there is often room for procrastination or even complete abandonment of an objective if results need to be seen more quickly. Implementing short-term deadlines within the parameters of a FAST goal helps ensure continuous progress until the eventual outcome is achieved. This allows individuals to stay motivated throughout their journey while having something tangible they can work towards during adversity or difficulty.
Reason 5: FAST Goals are Trackable
Tracking your progress towards reaching a specific goal is essential to accurately gauge your performance and determine areas where improvement may be needed. With this type of goal-setting process, all relevant information related to completing each task associated with the overall objective can be easily tracked and monitored from start to finish, providing valuable insight into how an individual or team performed overall once everything has been completed successfully.
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Reason 6: FAST Goals Encourage Accountability
Another advantage of using this type of goal-setting system is that it helps promote accountability among those involved in its implementation, allowing everyone involved in the process to understand their roles individually and collectively when working towards achieving an expected outcome together.
Through regular communication between all parties involved, everyone can remain informed about their progress and any updates concerning other aspects related to its completion, thus eliminating any discrepancies between expectations before finalizing anything related directly to its completion.
Do & Don’t While Making FAST & SMART Goals
With a well-defined goal, you have a clear roadmap to follow, which helps you stay motivated and focused. But, like everything else, there are right and wrong ways to achieve these goals. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while crafting your FAST & SMART goals:
• Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
• Break down your larger goals into smaller, actionable steps that are easier to achieve.
• Write your goals down and make sure they’re visible—on a bulletin board or in a notebook that you check often.
• Celebrate small successes along the way to help keep you motivated.
• Take advantage of available resources that may be able to help you reach your goal more quickly and efficiently.
• Make sure you have an accountability partner who can remind you of your progress and offer helpful advice.
• Set realistic deadlines for yourself to stay on track and avoid procrastination.
• Don’t give up if things get complicated or too tricky—break down more significant tasks into smaller ones instead.
• Avoid making vague or unrealistic goals, as this might only lead to disappointment when it is not achievable.
• Don’t get discouraged by setbacks—look at them as learning opportunities and adjust accordingly moving forward.
• Don’t forget to reward yourself for reaching a milestone or achieving success! Celebrating these moments, however big or small, is essential!