How to write S.M.A.R.T goals

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Humans were built with a desire to reach goals. It gives us a sense of accomplishment when we reach goals, whether big or small. Goals motivate us and keep us going through tough times. A life without goals is like an airplane setting off without a destination. We need goals to be successful and to stay motivated.

What are S.M.A.R.T goals?

A lot of us set goals, but never achieve them. When we set goals, most of us are too broad. We might say that we want to lose weight, or we want to be rich or have our own business, but we are not specific enough. Setting goals in a S.M.A.R.T way makes it easier to reach and stay motivated.

Goals need to be:

  • S: Specific
  • M: Measurable
  • A: Achievable
  • R: Relevant
  • T: Time-bound


Goals must be specific. To say that you want to study harder, or want to get fit, is not specific enough. Instead of saying I want to get fit, rather set a goal that states you want to be able to finish a 10km race in two months. Or that you want to get 75% for your next math exam. Be as specific as possible. Do not be vague or broad. Explain exactly what it is that you want to achieve in as much detail as possible.


How will you know if you achieved your goal if you did not make it measurable? Setting measurable goals help you to track your progress. It is good to set up smaller milestones that work towards your ultimate goal. If you want to run a 10km race in two months, how are you going to measure your progress? Setting small goals or milestones every day will help you achieve that goal. For example, in the first week, your goal might be to run 1km every day. Or to achieve 75% in your next math test, your goal for the first week might be to do 1 practice exam a day.


Goals must be achievable. Otherwise, you might lose motivation and give up. If you got 35% for your previous math test, it might be a bit unrealistic to expect 75% for the next one. Break your goals up into smaller, more attainable steps to prevent you from losing motivation.


Ask yourself why you want to achieve that specific goal? Is it a worthwhile goal and is it in line with your needs and abilities? Does it fit into your lifestyle? What is the reason for setting that specific goal?


Your goals must be bound to a specific time, otherwise, they will never be met. Setting a time frame for achieving your goals is extremely important. To say that you want 75% for math, but you never specify when you want it, will lead to you not really working hard towards achieving that goal. Set a specific time for each goal. When do you want to achieve it? Break your goal up into smaller parts, each with its own time frame.

Do you struggle to reach your goals?

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