What is smart goal setting? A simple guide to setting smart goals

By | November 5, 2015

what is smart goal settingWhat is smart goal setting? A simple guide to setting smart goals

Goals are part of our daily lives. We set goals with an aim of achieving them. Accomplishing the set goals is not that easy. It is based on the priorities we have. It is all about remaining focused on the dreams to change every aspect of our life. A simple way of achieving our goal is by setting smart goals. But what is smart goal setting? How hard is it toset smart goals? Let me use this guide to explain smart goal setting and also give a smart goal setting an example.

What is a smart goal?

The word SMART is used as a mnemonic acronym where each letter has a meaning. S means Specific; M means Measurable, A means Achievable, R means realistic while T stands for Time-bound. A smart goal simply means a goal that is based on these criteria. Making smart goals is the most effective way of making sure you achieve them. Let’s discuss each and every criterion of a smart goal.

  1. S in SMART goal setting is for specific

It is important to know exactly what we want when making goals. Let’s take a case study of two people who make a New Year resolution on becoming financially stable. One may say, “I want to make money this year,” The other says “By the end of the year I should have $100, 000 saving” The two have the year goals. But stating the exact amount makes the goal more specific. It is, therefore, easy to know how to work to accomplish it. The other might get just a little money and get satisfied. A specific goal should answer the following questions:

  • What do I want?
  • Who will be involved in getting what I want?
  • Where will I get what I want?
  • When should I get what I want?
  • Which requirements do I need to get what I want?
  • Why am I setting this goal?

mart goal setting examplesIf you have answers to these questions, be sure you are working towards making a SMART goal.

  1. M in SMART goal setting is for Measurable

To measure is simply to create achievement criteria. Here you define the path of attaining your goals. You also create junctions that you will be measuring progress on your way to attaining your goals. In our case study, the person having a goal of saving $100,000 will set strategies of achieving this dream. He can set the amounts to save each month. At the end of every month, he will be noting his progress. Some simple questions to ask to determine if your goal is measurable include:

  • What steps do I need to get to my goals?
  • How will I know that I have attained my goal?


  1. A in Smart goal setting is for Attainable

All your set goals should be attainable. You must be having a way of making them come true. For example, you cannot have a goal of saving $100,000 if you cannot even raise $100. You should look at your abilities, skills, and financial capabilities before setting your goals. This is wise planning and is important for succeeding in your goals.

  1. R in SMART goal setting is for realistic

SMART goal setting tipsA realistic goal is the one you are able and also willing to work on. The goal should be as high enough as your abilities can go. For example, A person weighing 250kg cannot set a goal of losing a 100kg in a week. He should know it’s not realistic. He should create a plan of slowly losing weight. When making your goals ensure they are realistic. Make sure you have the resources required for attaining the goals.

  1. Time bound

Every successful person understands the importance of time. It is importance to create deadlines on when to achieve your goals. In our case study, remember the saving was to be done by the end of the year? Making your dreams time bound is the best way of evaluating progress. As you do this, ensure the set time is realistic and flexible.

Every time you think of setting a goal, make it smart. Ask yourself, what is a smart goal setting? Then remember the meaning of the mnemonic acronym SMART. Take your goal through each and every step of the smart goal setting. With this evaluation, all your goals will be attained.
Here is more about SMART goal

Have you used SMART goal? What is your experience? Please share with us in the comments.

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