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Smart Goals Acronym

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SMART Goals Acronym Home

No one seems to know who first invented the SMART goals acronym. And there are a lot of variations on what each of the letters stand for. Here’s my take on it:

smart blackboard 221x300 SMART Goals Acronym HomeS = Specific
Not vague, not foggy or fuzzy, but specific- a specific goal addressing a specific issue. “I want to be a better person this year” doesn’t quite cut it in terms of specificity. “I won’t complain to the waitress at the restaurant when the food is less than perfect” is much better.

M = Measureable
This is a function of being specific. “I want to get in better shape” is not really measureable. “I want to drop 20 lbs.” When a goal is measureable, you know if you hit or not. It’s hard to discern whether you have hit a vague goal or not, and this lowers our motivation and keeps us from being accountable, which in turn makes it less likely that we will reach the goal.

A = Achievable.
A good goal should stretch us but not be absolutely impossible to achieve. It’s okay of there is some “God” space in it- that is, there would need to be a minor miracle or some kind of divine intervention for you to achieve it- but it’s not so far out there that you give up on it before you start. It needs to be at least conceivable to you that the goal could be reached.

R = Relevant
In other words it fits in with your deepest values and beliefs, it is consistent with the trajectory you have set for your life. Achieving it will move you towards your lifetime goals. If it just doesn’t matter, why is it a goal in the first place? Who are you trying to please  by saying it’s a goal? It’s YOUR goal, you need to own it. If you can’t, don’t make it one of your goals.

T = Time Based
That is, there is a deadline. I want to drop 20 lbs…by March 1. That’s time based. The time factor makes it more specific than it would otherwise be and keeps on a a healthy pressure that we all need.

What is your current goal- what do you want to change in your life or business? Define it SMARTly and you will be more likely to reach it. Be sure to look at some of the tools, both software and books, that can help you set and achieve your goals. You will also see some other summaries of the SMART goals acronym.