How to set SMART goals (Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant & Time-bound)

In the goal setting guide I created for you, we went through the 5 Phases of Reflection, which helped you come up with a list of 2–3 goals (or things you want to accomplish) over the next year or so.

Now that we have our “somewhat formulated goals”, it’s time to make them SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Taking a goal and making it SMART is not easy; that’s why I’m writing this post.

I’m going to walk through the exact steps you can take to make any ordinary goal a SMART goal, because without making sure your goal is SMART, you’re going to have a very difficult time actually accomplishing it.

This is also the first step you’ll come to in The Freedom Journal: setting your #1 SMART goal.

But since we’re here, let’s walk through how you can take an ordinary goal and make it SMART so that once you do dive into your very own Freedom Journal, you’ll already be ahead!

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~ Jim Rohn

This is where discipline, focus and drive are required.

Anyone can set a goal, but not everyone makes it a SMART goal, and therefore, few actually accomplish it.

Taking a goal, making it SMART

Until you’ve gotten specific with what it is you’re trying to accomplish, and have a way to measure your progress, you won’t be able to put a plan in place to execute.

So let’s take a look at an example:

John’s ordinary goal: to create a journal that will help people accomplish their goals.

After John told me about The Freedom Journal, we both knew it had to go through the SMART screening. John’s goal was amazing, but it wasn’t even close to meeting all of the SMART criteria.

  • Specific — as of now, this goal is kind of specific; John knows he wants to create a journal, and he knows what he wants that journal to help people do; however, we can get even more specific here.
  • Measurable — no, there is no type of measurement we can use to determine whether or not this goal has been accomplished.
  • Attainable — we do know this is an attainable goal, but at this point we’re still going to have trouble putting a plan in place to execute, and until we have a plan, we won’t know whether or not it’s attainable.
  • Relevant — yes, John discovered a commonality amongst all 1200 of his past guests; plus, we know as a result of listening to our audience that accomplishing goals is a struggle, so this is relevant to our overall business goals and vision.
  • Time-bound — no, we don’t have a deadline set.

Putting your somewhat formulated, ordinary goal up against the SMART criteria will help you start filling in the gaps and digging deeper to make this goal SMART, so actually write out next to each criteria what’s missing. That way, when you go back, you’ll know what needs to be clarified.

  • Specific — to create a journal that will guide people through setting and accomplishing their #1 goal in 100 days.

Now, instead of just saying “a journal that will help people accomplish their goals“, we’ve added in some specifics: we now know we want the journal to act as a guide, and that it’ll help people set and accomplish their #1 goal in 100 days.

  • Measurable — to get 10,000 copies of The Freedom Journal printed and shipped to the US for distribution.

Now that we have something measurable — a number — we’ll know if and when the goal has been accomplished. We’ll also have a way to actually track our progress.

  • Attainable — now that we’ve gotten super specific about our goal and we have a measurement to help us gauge progress, we can actually put a plan in place to execute.

With a plan in place, we know for sure this is an attainable goal.

  • Relevant — yes, John discovered a commonality amongst all 1,200 of his past guests; plus, we know as a result of listening to our audience that accomplishing goals is a struggle, so this is relevant to our overall business goals and vision.
  • Time-bound — John decided he wanted to have The Freedom Journal printed and ready for distribution by Dec 31, 2015, so we now have a deadline in place that we’re working towards.

So we just went from taking an ordinary goal: to create a journal that will help people accomplish their goals.

To making it a SMART goal: to create a journal that will guide people through how to set and accomplish their #1 goal in 100 days and get 10,000 copies printed and ready for distribution before Dec 31, 2015.

Now, for your plan

Once you’ve gone through the 5 Phases of Reflection and come up with 2–3 somewhat formulated goals, all it takes is putting each of those goals up against the SMART criteria and breaking it down 1 by 1 to ensure you’re going to be able to put a plan in place to start executing.


Originally published at www.eofire.com on January 14, 2016.

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