Every year people set a resolution but this year why not set a goal? In fact, why not set a smart goal? Smart is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Each element of the SMART framework works together to create a goal that is carefully planned, clear, and trackable.

If you did not achieve goals in past they might have been too vague, aggressive, or poorly framed. For instance, maybe you wanted to lose weight, but without a plan that is a wish not a goal. Working toward a poorly-crafted goal can feel daunting and unachievable. Creating SMART goals can help solve these problems.

Whether you’re setting personal or professional goals, using the SMART goal framework can establish a strong foundation for achieving success. Here is what each letter of the SMART acronym actually means. 

  • 1

    Specific

    Being specific helps us clearly articulate what we want to accomplish.  What exactly do you want to achieve?  Saying you want to earn a certain amount per month is much more specific than saying you want to be rich. Deciding you want to lose 10 pounds is much more definite that saying you want to lose weight.    The more specific your description, the bigger the chance you'll get what you want.

  • 2

    Measurable

    Your goals must be measurable. In other words there is usually a number involved - dollars, days, times per week, weight. When you create a goal that is measurable, it's easy to determine when you're getting closer or if you've reached your goal.Measurable goals offer concrete evidence of your success..

  • 3

    Achievable

    Your goal should be achievable. If you don't have any influence over the outcome, then it is not a goal, it is a dream. For instance, saying you want to win the lottery is not a goal, but wanting to run a 5k is something you can work toward. You should know why you want to achieve your goal and it should align with your values. Your goals should prompt you to take action.  To achieve success, you usually need to sacrifice or make changes and break bigger goals into smaller pieces.

  • 4

    Relevant

    Your goal should be relevant and important to you. It should align with your values. Ask yourself, do I really want this and why? Ask yourself if you are willing to dedicate the time, effort, and possibly money toward your goal.

  • 5

    Timely

    A goal without a deadline is just a dream.  Set a deadline to reach your ultimately goals and break it into smaller goals with a deadline for each of those.  Saying "someday I want to..." will never get you there.  There is no day in the week called "someday".