How To Set Smart Goals

This baby knows how to create S.M.A.R.T. goals!

This baby knows how to create S.M.A.R.T. goals!


In general, New Year’s resolutions aren’t kept. It’s two weeks into the new year and resolutions are already being pushed to the wayside. Let’s be honest– how many times have we all resolved to “get in shape”? Since resolutions are so easy to break instead I like to make goals. What makes goals different than resolutions? Well, resolutions are broad, sweeping, overly ambitious changes. On the other hand, goals can be S.M.A.R.T. In order to be S.M.A.R.T. goals must be:

S Specific
M Measurable
A Attainable
R Relevant
T Timely

How to create a S.M.A.R.T. goal is by far one of the best things that I have learned in the past couple of years. By using this method, I’ve attained almost 100% of the goals I’ve set for myself.  And the ones that didn’t work weren’t S.M.A.R.T.!

So, what’s an example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal? Well, let’s say you want to “get in shape”. We all want this. So take that broad goal, and start thinking more specifically. Your brain might sound something like this: “Well, I am pretty happy with the way I eat, but my workout plan is horrendous.” Now, you’re narrowing it down, your making a goal more specific.

Next look at the measurable aspect. This should get you thinking about a specific outcome. If you currently work out sporadically, you might want to set a time and date to go to the gym or workout from home.  This is also the time to think about attainability. Let’s be real, none of us are going to look like a Victoria’s Secret model overnight and maybe we never will. But that’s ok. Maybe just loosing 2 inches off of your waist by working out at the gym 3 days a week is an attainable and measurable goal.

The last two aspects of a smart goal are relevance and timeliness. Now, I always struggle with relevance because sometimes it causes you to think very broadly. Relevance asks you if this is the right time in your life for this goal. If you just took on 15 other goals, this might not be the time in your life to take on working out too. (Although, you should always have time for your health.) Relevance just causes you to think deeply about the worthiness of the goal at hand.

Finally, we come to timeliness. This one is easy! By what date do you want to accomplish your goal? Going on vacation this summer? Bam! You’ve got a date.

The broad resolution “to get in shape” now turned into the smart goal of “Loosing 2 inches off my waist by June 30, 2013 by working out at the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in order to improve my overall health and appearance.” It’s not quite as catchy as “get in shape,” but it is a heck of a lot more attainable.

Now after all this, I’m going to let you know that loosing inches off my waist is not my 2013 goals. I’m actually going to share my goals with you all later this week. I just wanted to share my successful goal setting strategies in the hopes that it will challenge you to make better goals and achieve your dreams. Corny, huh?

Did you set any resolutions or goals for 2013? Let me know in the comments!


8 thoughts on “How To Set Smart Goals

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