S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Are a structured approach to goal-setting that helps individuals create achievable objectives. "S.M.A.R.T." is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. All of these elements, together, represent a dependency relationship in the process of setting and achieving goals.

S.M.A.R.T. goals became a study concept in 1981 by George T. Doran in an article titled "There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives". The idea became more popular over time and has since been widely used in various fields as a way to set and achieve specific objectives effectively.

This concept was created to make it easier for people to set clear targets. They can help you by breaking down goals into smaller, manageable steps. This way, you can stay on track, see your progress, and adjust your plans if needed. Essentially, S.M.A.R.T. goals were invented to help people succeed by making their goals clearer and more manageable.

Let's take an example before explaining each letter's meaning. Imagine you want to become more fit and healthy this next year!

  • Specific: What do you want? It can be anything, from losing 12 KG in a year, to saving $100K. Being specific about your target will save you time in the future and you'll be more likely to follow your plan through! Looking ahead on time is the first step to planning on how to get there. Specific: I want to improve my physical fitness.
  • Measurable: When we think of measurable, we think of tangible. A set number can be the best way to describe it. Reading 52 books in a year, or maybe, losing 1 KG per month - this will definitely hold you accountable for each action you take moving forward. Measurable: I will achieve this by being able to run 5 kilometers without stopping.
  • Achievable: Before entering a challenge, it is important to see how realistic your idea is for you. Planning something outside of your personal reality will most likely cause future frustration. For some, it might be easy to save $100K a year, if you earn a good enough salary for it. But, it can also be far away from your current reality. Just because we can dream it, we might not be able to achieve it sometimes - it will be easier to start setting small goals, so that in a bigger timeframe you get to your initial idea! Achievable: I will start with a beginner's running program and gradually increase my distance and pace over time.
  • Relevant: Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we want to do something. It is always important to prioritize our real desires other than multiple small tasks that can be done without a bigger purpose. It is smarter to work towards one bigger goal, rather than meaningless tasks. Relevant: Improving my physical fitness will enhance my overall health and well-being.
  • Time-bound: How long is it going to take for you to get there? A goal without a deadline is simply a dream. Remember to be smart when setting your deadline, trying to reach something that seems impossible will probably make you give up or not even start. Be consistent and realistic, you’ll definitely get to where you want to get! Time-bound: I will accomplish this goal within three months by following a structured running plan and monitoring my progress weekly.

Adopting the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting technique will definitely ensure you that your goals are well-defined, doable, and will lead to great progress.