Deadlines are important motivators in goal setting, that’s why the T, in SMART Goals, refers to the term “time-bound.” Time-bound means the time you allocate for you to complete your goal.
How time-bound goals can help
An obvious start and end date for your goals are a momentous piece of your goal-setting plan. When you set start and end times for yourself, you are better able to stay on track, give yourself the ability to focus on your goal, and give yourself something to work toward. Mini-deadlines will help you keep up motivation because you will celebrate your smaller successes along the way.
Deadlines will also help with time management, making your goal more easily accomplished. Managing your time well will help you allocate your time where needed, toward achieving your goal. Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted. So, unless you carefully distribute your time, your goals may fall to the wayside and become overtaken by everyday tasks.
Time-bound goals have start and end dates. Setting a time frame for yourself in whom you expect to complete your goal gives you a sense of urgency. Time bound goals also keep you focused by helping prioritize your everyday tasks. It’s easy to get caught up in the things we have to get done in life. Work and family obligations often take over. Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted; meaning that other tasks will take over, if you let them. But, when the goal is time bound, it helps keep the goal in the forefront, with a sense of necessity.
Mini-deadlines are another way that time-bound goals help ensure success. You can set smaller deadlines within your primary goal and reward yourself for those mini successes along the way.
For example, let’s say your goal is to get healthier by walking for 30 minutes, 5 times a week for 3 months. You plan on walking in the evening when you get home from work. The deadline here is 3 months. An example of a useful mini goal could be at the 1 week mark. If you have followed through with walking for 30 minutes every evening after work for that week, you have successfully completed your mini goal. Allow yourself a small reward for achieving the mini goal, as this will further solidify success.
Time sensitive goals are an important part of the SMART Goals method. Setting deadlines will increase your productivity and help ensure your success.
Check out these resources
If you would like to add mini-deadlines and time blocks for your goals, I’ve got a great tool for you. In my specialized planner, “Win the Home Stretch” there are worksheets that are designed to help you create mini-goals and keep track of your successes. Get your planner, a $29 dollar value, for FREE today.
Focusmate.com is also a great resource to help you focus on shorter timebound tasks. Focusmate works by connecting you to other professionals who are committed to keeping you accountable in your work. Sessions are either 25 or 50 minutes long.