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What are SMART goals?

Setting goals is essential for success in both business and personal life. They provide direction, motivation, and a clear sense of purpose. By establishing SMART goals, you are giving yourself a tangible target to strive for. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. By incorporating these criteria’s, you can focus your efforts and maximize your chances of achieving your goal.

SMART goals are essential for achieving success as they are:

  • Specific: Precise, clearly defined and without any confusion.
  • Measurable: Quantifiable with specific benchmarks to track progress towards the goal.
  • Achievable: Attainable, realistic and achievable within your capabilities.
  • Realistic: Making sure everything is relevant and aligned with your overall life goals and purpose.
  • Time-bound: Having a clear start and end date provides a sense of urgency to achieve your goal.

Specific SMART Goals

In order to increase the likelihood of success, it’s important to set specific goals. To make a goal specific, consider the five “W” questions:

  • Who is involved in this goal?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where will this goal be achieved?
  • When do I want to achieve this goal?
  • Why do I want to achieve this goal?


For example, a general goal would be “I want to improve my productivity.” A more specific goal would be “I want to allocate 15 minutes at the start of each workday to prioritise my tasks, set specific deadlines, and track my progress to increase my productivity.”

Measurable SMART Goals

A SMART goal should be attainable and realistic. If a goal is too far-fetched or unrealistic, it can be demotivating and discourage progress. To make a goal achievable, ask yourself:

  1. Is this goal within my capabilities?
  2. Do I have the resources and support necessary to reach this goal?
  3. What steps do I need to take to make this goal a reality?


For example, building on the specific goal above you could say: “I want to obtain a gym membership at my local gym and work out four days a week to be healthier. Every week, I will aim to lose one 1KG by setting realistic workout plans and seeking advice from a personal trainer at the gym.”

Achievable SMART Goals

By setting a SMART goal that is both challenging and realistic, you can set yourself up for success and work towards achieving them. To ensure your goals are achievable, ask yourself:

  1. Are the resources and capabilities at my disposal sufficient to reach the goal? If not, what do I need to acquire or develop?
  2. Have others in similar circumstances been successful in achieving this goal?


This can provide valuable insight and inspiration on how to approach the goal.

Realistic SMART Goals

A SMART goal must be realistic and achievable, considering the available resources and time you have. To determine if a goal is realistic, consider the following questions:

  1. Is the goal realistic and within your reach?
  2. Can the goal be accomplished within the given time frame and with the available resources?
  3. Are you fully committed to achieving the goal and willing to put in the necessary effort?


Time-bound SMART Goals

This SMART goal must be time-bound in that it has a start and finish date. If the goal is not time-constrained, there will be no sense of urgency and, therefore have less motivation to achieve the goal. Ask yourself:

  1. Does my goal have a deadline?
  2. By when do you want to achieve your goal?


For example, building on the goal above this is how you would set your goal: “On March 1st, I will obtain a gym membership at my local gym. In order to be healthier, I will work out four days a week. Every week, I will aim to lose 1KG every week.”

The Power of Setting SMART Goals

In conclusion, SMART goals provide a clear and structured approach to achieving your desired outcomes. By setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals, you can increase your chances of success and stay on track to achieving your objectives. Remember to regularly review and adjust your goals as needed, and to celebrate your progress along the way. With SMART goals, you can set yourself up for success and reach your full potential.

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