Setting SMART Goals

If you’ve tried setting goals before and haven’t been successful at achieving them, I’d like to introduce you to a goal-setting method that may bring you more success. It’s called the “SMART” Method of goal setting. Download a free PDF of the S.M.A.R.T. goals map to help keep you on track.

What Are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. goals were introduced in 1981 by George T. Doran, a former director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company. He published a paper called, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” In the paper, he introduced S.M.A.R.T. goals as a tool to create benchmarks to improve the success rate of accomplishing goals.

The acronym stands for:

  • S — Specific
  • M — Measurable
  • A — Achievable
  • R — Relevant
  • T — Time bound

S — Specific

When setting a goal, you need to be specific about what you want to accomplish. Think about this as your goal’s mission statement. This isn’t a detailed list of how you’re going to accomplish the goal, but it should include answers to the ‘w’ questions:

Who –Who needs to be involved for this goal to be achieved (this is important if you’re working with a group or team, or you’ll need help from someone).

What –What you are trying to accomplish; be sure to be very detailed.

When — You’ll get more specific about this question in the “time-bound” section of defining goals, but you should at least know your time frame.

Where — This question may not always apply, but if there’s a location relevant to achieving your goal, you’ll need to identify it.

Which — Determine any obstacles or requirements to achieving your goal. This question can help you determine if your goal is realistic. For example, if your goal is to open a restaurant, but you don’t have any restaurant experience, that might be an issue. As a result, you may want to refine the goal to be “Learn how to operate a restaurant.”

Why — What is the reason for achieving this goal?

M — Measurable

What benchmarks are you going to use to determine if you met the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way for you to measure your progress. If it’s a project that’s going to take some time to complete, set some milestone goals with specific tasks that you need to accomplish.

A — Achievable

This helps you to focus on how important a goal is to you and what you can do to make it attainable. This may require developing new skills or changing your attitude. The goal is meant to motive you, not discourage you. Think about how you can accomplish the goal and if you have the tools/skills that you need. If you don’t have the tools/skills that you need, consider what it would take to get them.

R — Relevant

Relevance refers to focusing on something that makes sense. For example, if the goal is to launch a new product line, it should be something that’s in alignment with your overall business goals. If your goal is not relevant to your overall objectives, then it wouldn’t be relevant.

T — Time-Bound

All goals need realistic timing in order to succeed. Determining a target date for reaching your goal is essential. Create smaller tasks and goals with benchmarks along the way to ensure that you will be able to reach your goal within the timeline you set.

When it comes to creating S.M.A.R.T. goals, be prepared to ask yourself a lot of questions. The answers will help perfect your plan, ensuring that your goals are something that you can actually achieve. While you should be as realistic as possible, it’s important to approach creating S.M.A.R.T. goals with a positive attitude. After all, these goals are something that you want.

I can support you with whatever it is that you are wanting to achieve. Let me help you attain your dreams. Give me a call for a FREE consultation at 970–682–4405. Check out our 6-week series with the horses. I look forward to helping your heart sign again.


Originally published at witherswhisper.com on March 6, 2017.

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