SILVER; six steps to achieve your aims

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Goal setting is often based on the specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound (SMART) template, but this does not offer the emotional connection that many people need to reach their goals.

The specific, in time, life affirming, values led, ethical and robust (SILVER) template can help people who think that the SMART and other ‘top-down’ goal-setting templates are uninspiring and ‘dry’. Claire Westwood describes the different aspects of the SILVER template:

Specific
People must know when they have attained their goals, which should therefore be identifiable or measurable.

In time
To help people feel emotionally involved with their goals, deadlines for reaching them can be set as if these goals have been reached already.

Life affirming
Goals should be seen to improve people’s lives rather than create more work if they are to inspire people to reach them.

Values led
If goals are work related, they must accord with organisational values; if they are personal, they must accord with personal values.

Ethical
Goals must be ethical.

Robust
Goals should be challenging but realistic, and those who try to reach them are expected to succeed but not over-reach themselves.
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