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How to set SMART Goals

goals organisation planning Dec 05, 2022

The term and concept SMART goals have been around for many years but still are as relevant as ever. What exactly are SMART Goals and how do you set them?

SMART is really just an acronym for the process, which is a 5 step process.

The first step in setting a good goal is getting specific. The S in Smart.

Being specific in setting your goal allows you to be clear on what it is that you want to achieve. Instead of setting something vague like, losing weight, or saving more money, the goals should be more like losing 10 kgs or saving $10,000. This allows you to focus your efforts and visualize the outcome and you will know when you have achieved it.

The Second set is ensuring the goal is Measurable. The M in SMART.

Having a goal measurable allows you to track your progress. If you can’t measure it, you won’t know if you have achieved it.

Using the two examples before, if you had - losing 10 kilos or saving $10,000, you are able to track your progress with the numbers throughout the year (or quarter if it is a business goal). How are you tracking? Are you on track to reach your goal?



The Third step is making sure it is Attainable. The A in SMART.

Setting an achievable goal means choosing one that allows you to push yourself and is also attainable.

If you chose to earn $1,000,000 this year and you only earn $40,000 currently, then there is the likelihood that you may fall short in achieving that goal unless there is some new stream of income that you know is likely to increase towards this number.

It is great to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and I am not discouraging aiming high, but if a goal can seem impossible you are setting yourself up for failure as you are may eventually give up.

The fourth step is making sure it is Relevant. The R in SMART.

To work towards and try to reach a goal it must be both aligned and matter to you.  If it doesn’t seem worthwhile, you are unlikely to do the work required to reach it.

It must be realistic, meaning you are willing to work towards achieving it by improving your current habits and skill set. It must be something you can have control over. If you set goals that somebody else has more say than you do on, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

You have to ask yourself why you are setting the goal.

Is this the right time for this goal?

Is the current environment suitable right now for this goal?

The fifth and final step is Time-bound. The T in SMART.

You must set a clear time frame in which to achieve your goal. If there is no endpoint the goal has no deadline to focus on and work towards. It allows you to see a beginning and endpoint and how you improved over time.

By giving your goal a time frame to complete, it also puts some pressure on you to put in a bit of effort towards it, particularly as time gets closer.

If you don’t reach your goal in the time frame, then you can reassess the why, and refer back through all the SMART steps. Was it realistic and achievable? Was it specific enough?

Make sure through this goal-setting process you ask yourself good questions.

What is it I really want to achieve?

Why is it important to me?

How will I know when it is accomplished?

How can I accomplish this goal?

Does this goal align with me where I am currently at and where I want to be?

Is it the right time for this goal?

Do I have or can I learn the skills needed to reach this goal or can I get someone to help me (outsource)?

When do I want to achieve this goal by?


Setting SMART Goals is really quite a simple and straightforward process. It also ensures a better-set goal and a higher likelihood of reaching it.

If you are struggling with Goal Setting and Planning, reach out and book a Clarity or Planning session with me.

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