Setting SMART goals is a powerful way to achieve success in any area of your life. Whether you’re looking to improve your career, your health, or your personal relationships, following the SMART goal framework can help you stay focused and achieve your desired outcomes.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These five criteria provide a clear and actionable framework for setting and achieving goals. Let’s take a closer look at each of these criteria:
- Specific – A specific goal is one that is clearly defined and well-understood. It should answer the basic questions of who, what, when, where, and why. For example, instead of setting a general goal like “lose weight,” a more specific goal might be “lose 10 pounds in 2 months by exercising for 30 minutes a day and eating a balanced diet.”
- Measurable – A measurable goal is one that can be tracked and quantified. This allows you to monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed. Continuing with the weight loss example, a measurable goal might be “track my calorie intake and exercise progress daily using a fitness app.”
- Achievable – An achievable goal is one that is realistic and attainable given your current resources and abilities. It should stretch you but not overwhelm you. For example, if you’ve never run before, setting a goal to run a marathon in a month may not be achievable. A more achievable goal might be to run a 5k in 3 months.
- Relevant – A relevant goal is one that aligns with your values, priorities, and broader goals. It should be important and meaningful to you. For example, if your ultimate goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, then losing weight may be a relevant goal.