The SMART Way to Set Goals

Julia Barber

Julia Barber

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The SMART Way to Set Goals

When was the last time you set a goal for yourself? Was it your New Years' resolution? Or maybe you just set a summer goal to achieve by the end of the year. How’s it going so far? Is your goal SMART? 

Smart goals are put in place to make sure that your goals are not only attainable but will be achieved within a specific time frame. Making your goals SMART is essential when trying to achieve them. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Let's break those down:


When setting goals, it's important to be specific about what you want to achieve. This means thinking about the "w" questions: who needs to be involved, what needs to be accomplished when you hope to achieve the goal, where it will take place, and why this goal is important. Answering these questions will help you create a mission statement for your goal, which will serve as a guide as you work to achieve it.


The second guideline for smart goals is that they should be measurable. This means that you should be able to track your progress and see if you are moving closer to your goal. When it comes to measuring your progress, consider using specific tasks as milestones. This can help you to better gauge whether or not you are making the progress that you want to be making. 


Setting achievable goals is vital to success when it comes to any kind of goal. All too often, people set goals that are unrealistic and unattainable, which leads to disappointment and discouragement.

When setting goals, it is important to be realistic. Ask yourself if your goal is something that you can reasonably accomplish. This will help you to focus on what is important and what you can do to make it achievable. Think about how to accomplish the goal and if you have the necessary skills and tools. If not, consider what steps you need to take to acquire them.


As you develop your goals, it's important to keep them relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. This will help you maintain focus and stay on track.

To ensure your goals are relevant, ask yourself if they are achievable and if they align with your broader business objectives. If not, adjust accordingly. By keeping your goals relevant, you'll be better positioned to achieve success.


To properly measure success, you need to ensure you have a specific time frame in which you want to achieve this goal. What’s your time timeline? When will you start creating and implementing the tasks to get you closer to completing your goal? When do you plan on reaching your goal? SMART goals should have time-related parameters built in, so you can stay on track within a designated time frame. 

SMART goal example: Lose 10 pounds in 5 months by focusing on strength exercises twice a week and walking every day for 30 minutes. I will also reduce my sugar intake and increase my protein and fiber. 

S- This goal is specific about how you will lose weight. 

M- Your weight loss can be measured, and your weekly workouts are milestones.

A-  Losing 10 pounds in 5 months is realistic and can be done in a healthy way.

R- This goal is relevant to you and your desire to lose weight and be healthier. 

T- This goal is time-bound with your deadline being 5 months.

Anyone can set goals, but if it lacks realistic timing, chances are you’re not going to succeed. Providing a target date is essential. Setting up a timeline for your goals can help you to avoid setbacks and getting off track. Time-bound goals are essential to measure success and keep yourself accountable.

Setting goals is important for several reasons. First, it gives you something to aim for and provides a sense of purpose. Second, it keeps you motivated and on track. And third, setting smart goals (that is, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals) increases your chances of success.

By following the Five Golden Rules of Goal Setting, you can set goals confidently and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with knowing you achieved what you set out to do. So, what's your SMART goal?

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