SMART Goals – Quick Overview

SMART Goals – Quick Overview

Regardless, if it is professional or personal we all struggle sometimes to achieve our goals. Many times our struggle is not because of a lack of effort, but rather how our goals have been structured. Anytime you set a goal if you find yourself struggling while working towards a goal keep in mind the word SMART. SMART is an acronym that can be used to help evaluate and add structure to your goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. SMART begins with asking yourself the degree to which a goal is specific. This is arguably the most important part of establishing Or evaluating a goal. The less specific a goal the more difficult it is to determine how long the goal should take to complete or how to measure success. Consider the difference between a goal to get healthy versus the goal to lose weight versus the goal to lose 10 pounds. The goal to get healthy is much less specific than a goal to lose 10 pounds. The next question to ask, How is the goal measured? What determines success? Some goals may be best measured by a simple yes-or-no, such as the goal of climbing to the top of a mountain, While other goals are better measured by using metrics such as the goal to lose 10 pounds. The key to measurement is making sure that in whatever way the goal is measured, it accurately reflects success. For instance, if you do not have access to a scale then measuring weight loss will be difficult and less accurate. An alternative measure may be to track how many inches you have lost around the waist. But, to what extent does this accurately reflect the goal? Without access to a reliable way of measuring weight, we may want to consider buying a scale or restructuring our goal. Actionable is not asking yes or no, but how will the goal be achieved? What is our action plan? Do we have the resources and capabilities required to achieve success? If not, What are we lacking? Well designed goals provide clarity of action. If the actions required to achieve a goal are unclear or there are a large number of actions That need to be taken, we should consider breaking down the main goal into manageable, actionable sub-goals. In isolation any single goal is relevant, but in life we most often are in the process of pursuing multiple goals. A common issue we face, is having too many goals at the same time, or pursuing the wrong goals. With this in mind We need a mechanism to help us monitor our goals to make sure we are pursuing our most relevant goals at any given moment in time. One technique is to place goals in a matrix that looks at effort required versus perceived value of achieving the goal. Not always, but most of the time we will want to focus our energy on low effort high value goals. Another technique is to use the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. Ask, which are the 20% of goals that will provide me with 80% of my return? The last thing we want to make sure is that goals are time bound. By including a specific date by which a goal should be accomplished, it helps provide incentive and allows us to monitor progress. Consider the difference between the goal to lose 10 pounds and the goal to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Simply by including an element of time we can now calculate how much we should be losing each week, and if after 5 weeks We have only lost one pound, we can revisit our action plan. Be wary of any goal that is open-ended such as the common goal to learn a foreign language. Last is important to reinforce that goal-setting is not an event, it is an ongoing process of action, evaluation, and revision. It is not about lowering goals or standards to ensure success. It is about recognizing goals are dynamic, because life is dynamic. We do not live in a static world. Life happens. A goal that is relevant today may be irrelevant tomorrow. When using SMART, stay flexible and motivated by setting aside time to reevaluate your goals on a regular basis.


  1. Great Talk! Thanks for sharing!

    I was moving around in life cluelessly and all of them very pissed off with me!

    my colleague introduced me to this "justgoals" mobile app which helped me to set short/mid/long term goals.
    now, i have a purpose and i am moving focused in my life.

    I am like a magnetic force to people around me!

  2. "lose ten pounds" is still not specific enough and a scale is not a great way to measure it! A better one would be lose 10 pounds of fat and measure this with a scale. But even better is to get your body fat percentage measured, create a goal of losing x% body fat by some specific date and measure that with a measuring tape and periodically with a proper body fat measurement machine

  3. You are one of my best loved YouTubers and I want to make a tribute video to your channel. Please let me know if that is ok with you. My YouTube channel has a lot of motivational and inspirational content because my passion is to share the best personal development methods. I enjoy your content and would like to give it some extra publicity. Hope to hear from you!

  4. I have 3 goals set in place right now. I also have a list of things to do each day. My to do list gets backdated because there is not enough hours in the day. How can I make more hours in the day?

  5. SMART goals can help ensure you’re always outlining the right details, keeping you on track at every stage. This is what makes them so important!

  6. This was a very explanatory and very helpful video on S.M.A.R.T. Goals/Decision Skills, and the content of this video just reinforce my learning skills on this topic. Great video I recommended to everyone.

  7. In some cases, you may see different words attached to the acronym “SMART”. For example, some will refer to the “R” as standing for “realistic” or “results-focused”. In any case, the overall sentiment of a SMART goal, regardless of individual interpretation, is very similar if not the same.


  8. I think this version is very sensible. I've seen a version where the A and R were 'achievable' and 'realistic'. Those two are too close to the same meaning. In business school it was taught to be action-based and realistic OR relevant. I think action-based and relevant are better attributes to use to help formulate better goals. But, only if you can remember to keep goals realistic without using this acronym. Or, if you simply remember that R has alternative meanings and that's enough to remind you to consider if it's realistic. In either case, it's a great way to help you organize your thinking.

  9. When it comes to R (relevant) you should also consider
    1.) Warren Buffets 5/25 —> focus on the 5 most important goals and ignore the other 20 goals

    2.) sharpen the saw—> meaning you first tackle a goal to make another goal easier
    Great examples for this are
    a.) the right learning techniques and methods or a foundation of healthy habits to make it trough university. (Small scale)
    b.) knowledge, money and connections as well as a clear vision of your business before actually starting it. (Big scale)

    b.) is kinda similiar to Carl Newport’s Craftmans Mindset (Book: So good they can’t ignore you) which basically says that you need rare and valuable qualifications to get a great workplace.

  10. Thanks for the information about smart goals, it really helped me in my AVID class. However it is also important to have BIG goals because research states that having big goals makes you more likely to preform better at getting it.

  11. Excellent to the point Video with simple explanations and graphics, perfect – Going to share this with my 😉 Thank You !

  12. Enroll in a FREE 30-minute course on using S.M.A.R.T. goals to achieve more in less time.

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