How to Set S-M-A-R-T Goals

financial goalsAs you are considering goals and resolutions it is important to keep a few simple guidelines in mind. I like to refer to the acronym SMART when making goals.

S: Specific

Your goals should be very specific. If setting a weight loss goal do not determine to lose weight. How many pounds or what percentage of weight do you plan to lose? If you goal is to eat healthy, what does that really look like? Will you eat a specific number of treats each week, or eat 3 servings of fruit and/or vegetables each day? If your goal is to grow your department or business what exactly does that mean? Will you increase revenue by a certain percentage? Decrease expenses? Hire more people?

M: Measurable

If your goal is really specific it should also be measurable. If you don't measure progress you can never hold yourself accountable and the goal becomes pointless. How will you be measuring your progress? Will you be keeping some type of written or digital diary? How often will you make entries to the diary to ensure enough data to track progress? If you are not clear on how you can track your current goals consult with friends or family and ask for feedback about how you can be more clear and setup a system to measure your progress.

A: Attainable

Is it possible? Can it really be done? Is it realistic. There is no point in setting yourself up for failure. Consider all the things that may come up. Goals are not meant to be easy but do not put yourself in a situation where you know there is no real path to success when lives comes at you.

R: Relevant

Do these goals really reflect the actions you need to take to move you closer to achieving self-actualization and working toward your personal, family, or organization's mission statement? Perhaps the goal is relevant at some level but is the timing right? Is this the right thing in terms of your priorities? Keep yourself in line with what really matters.

T: Timely

Its important to set clear time expectations for your goals. Perhaps your goal is to increase sales 20% but when will you have that accomplished? Is your goal to do that within 6 months, a year, 3 years? Assign a timeline to every goals you write and measure against the due date.

Hopefully these guidelines will lead you to making smarter goals. I look forward to your comments below!


  1. Edson Alves on December 19, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Very good, interesting and smart this way to set our goals. Tks for your thoughts.

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