Smart Goals

Smart goals are the ones which will not only give a sense of satisfaction when achieved but also enhance your being in some way. Here, you will find out what they are and how to use them.

As Henry David Thoreau has said, "What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." Hence a SMART goal is a goal which also transforms you from the inside.

Here, SMART is an acronym, with each letter having a specific or multiple meanings.

S - specific, significant, stretching

M - measurable, meaningful, motivational

A - achievable, acceptable, action-oriented

R - realistic, reasonable, rewarding

T - time-based, tangible, trackable

Defining Smart Goals

Specific, Significant, Stretching

    Vague goals don’t work as the subconscious doesn’t seem to understand them. Instead of saying, “I will be slim and fit in the next three years”, set the goal as “I am losing 1 kg (or 2 pounds) of weight effortlessly every month till I reach ____ kg” or "I weigh _____ kg."

    Goals should be significant. Puny or small goals will not motivate you. They should be such that they will bring about significant change in your life. Don;t use the incredible power of the subconscious for an insignificant goal like winning the local Bingo on Saturday evening.

    Your goals must stretch you. Simple goals that can be achieved very easily may not enhance your personality. If your goal is to lose only 250 g every month, which is achieved easily, that won’t affect your life much.

Measurable, Meaningful, Motivational

    When you say “I am losing 1 kg of weight effortlessly every month till I reach ____ kg,” it is abundantly clear that your goal can be measured and is meaningful.

    When you say “I will be slim and fit in the next three years,” the goal is not exactly measurable though it may be meaningful.

    Also the fact that you have lost 1 kg or more weight in one month is itself very motivating and keeps you going till you reach your final goal.

Achievable, Acceptable, Action-oriented

    If a goal is huge and difficult to achieve, then it becomes demotivating. For example, if you want to earn a million dollars a year and you are now earning $25,000 a year, then set a target for earning $50,000 a year. When that is achieved, set a goal for $100,000 a year and so on.
    Your goal has to be achievable as well as acceptable. Acceptable in the sense that it is legally, ethically and morally acceptable.
    Your goal should be action oriented. If you want to be a millionaire and all you do is purchase lottery tickets, then it becomes only a wish and not a goal. So set an achievable goal and start taking action.

Realistic, Reasonable, Rewarding

    Goals should be realistic in order to succeed. Unrealistic goals lead to failure. For example, in weight loss, the goal of losing one to four kg a month is ok. But trying to lose 10 kg a month is highly unrealistic; hence, likely to be unsuccessful.

    Such a goal is unreasonable and unrewarding. Unreasonable because it is almost impossible and unrewarding because it leads to frustration.

    A rewarding goal gives a sense of fulfillment after it is achieved. For example, if you lose only a quarter kilo weight in a month, you may not feel it rewarding enough to try and lose more weight.

Time-based, Tangible, Trackable

    Smart goals are time based, i.e. they have a time limit for completion. Without time limit, a goal is just a dream.

    Also, they are tangible, not abstract. A goal like “I will become slim and fit” is intangible because 'slim and fit' may mean different things to different people.

    And then the goal should be trackable. A goal like “losing one kilo of weight per month” can be easily kept track of, while “I will become slim and fit” is not trackable.

So see that you don’t just make goals, but make SMART goals because they are the ones that fructify.  

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.