Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time Based

Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Unsure how to set a specific goal? Try answering the six “W” questions:

            Who: Who is involved?
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Where: Identify a location.
When: Establish a time frame.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

Example: A general goal would be, “get in shape”. But a specific goal would say, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week for half an hour or more”.

Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as…

            How much?
How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable: When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them.
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.

Example: An unattainable goal may be “I will lose 40 pounds in a week”, because this is impossible to do, especially in a healthy way. A more attainable goal may be “I will lose 5 pounds in two weeks by exercising regularly and eating healthy”.

Realistic: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.
A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labour of love.

Time-Based: A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs. when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st” for example, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.

(information retrieved from: