Article The most important aspect to successfully setting goals is to actually follow through with the goal. 2 2013 Life coaching Motivational coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

How to Successfully Set Smart Goals using the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Criteria

TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development goals, goal setting, SMART goals, SMART goals examples, long-term goals, short-term goals, life coaching tools

By setting smart, achievable goals, you will also get the added boost of reaching your small goals on a regular basis.

How many times have you set a goal only to lose focus of it or completely forget about it? If your answer is many times, then you are not alone.

Many people set out to accomplish a goal and then fail to do so. But do not be discouraged. Goals take time and in order to successful attain one, you have to take many things into consideration.

Well, you may be saying—it is just a goal what is there to really take into consideration? There is something called a S.M.A.R.T. goal and this type of goal will help you determine when, if, and how you should work on your goal.

Here is the acronym broken down:

S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Attainable
T- Timely


So let’s look at each criterion individually, starting with specific. Is the goal that you want to set specific? It is easier to accomplish a specific goal than it is to accomplish a broad goal. Get specific about your goals.

  • What is the goal?
  • Why this or those goals in particular?
  • How are you going to go about accomplishing this goal?

When answering what the goal is make sure you answer what you are going to do. For example: “my goal is to lose one pound a week” or “my goal is to run a mile every day.”

These are specific goals that also have direction. You see when your goal is too broad it will not be as easy to accomplish and it will be easy to focus on other things. Here is an example of a broad version of the goal mentioned previously, “My goal is to lose weight” or “My goal is to start running.”



Now moving on to “measurable”, is the goal that you want to set measureable? A measurable goal is simply one that you can keep track of.

If you run a mile, you can record that you did the mile for that day. If you so happen to skip a day then it will reflect on your records.

You can also track your time speed; maybe as you progress in running every day, your speed becomes faster. If losing a certain amount of weight every week is your goal, then that is something that can certainly be measured.


Next in line is “attainable”, can your goal actually be attained? Here are some things to think about as far as attainable goals:

  • Do you have enough time to work on this goal?
  • Does this goal require you to spend money? If so do you have the finances?

Those are the most important things to consider when determining if your goal is attainable. Sometimes your goal may sounds good but you have to determine if you actually can do it right now.


Moving on to “realistic”, is your goal realistic? Can you really accomplish this goal?

It is true that sometimes people do set goals that are just unrealistic. For example it may not be wise to say that you are going to lose 60 pounds a week or run 50 miles a day if you know that you honestly do not have the time or will power to do so.

The unrealistic goals that we set usually end up being the ones that cause us disappointment. Be true to yourself and realize what you can do. Of course push yourself a little but not too much.


Lastly, is your goal “timely”? Do you have a time frame for your goal and can it be completed in that time frame?

Make sure that the goal that you set can be accomplished in a timely manner. Do not set a goal to do something in week that you know will probably take some months to accomplish.


When you put all of the components of a S.M.A.R.T. goal together, it will help you be more focused and motivated. You will be able to know what you are going to do, when, and how. You will be able to keep track of your goals and to know if you are exceeding or missing the mark.

Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is definitely a way to make sure your goals are achieved.  S.M.A.R.T. goals will also challenge your determination and dedication. If you can accomplish one goal, then you can accomplish many more.

Be smart about your goals and you will definitely not be disappointed, remember that anything is possible!

Photo Credit : jean-louis zimmermann


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  • Alicia Phuong
    April 11, 2013

    This is a great read! I constantly multi-task and sometimes things simply get out of hand. I tend to lose track of my goals and what needs to be completed first. I'm going to print this article out and implement the S.M.A.R.T. system for my next project! It's going to make things a whole lot clearer!

  • Joon 88
    May 06, 2014

    So helpful! Thanks so much Nicole :) I am going to start doing this for sure now that I know how.


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