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How to create S.M.A.R.T goals?

Updated on May 29, 2014
"Excelsior" from the move the "Silver-linings Playbook"
"Excelsior" from the move the "Silver-linings Playbook"

What are Goals?

The better question would be -- what do you want to do with your life?

YOLO -- This is probably one of the most hated phrases today. Believe it or not, it's actually a very powerful phrase with a lot of truth in it. The only problem is that it is misused a lot.

Think about it, you only have one life to live in this world. And this my friend is the only reason you need to become the best person you could be. This means absolutely everything and anything you can (and will) accomplish should be your goals. You need to dream big, aim high, and possibly shoot for very ridiculous ideals. However, there's a catch.

While your goals and objectives should be outrageous and sometimes unimaginable, it should still be within the confines of the laws of physics. This means your goals must be very great that it sounds crazy, but it should be something realistic and achievable in this material world.

This is how S.M.A.R.T goals can help you.

What is S.M.A.R.T?

The S.M.A.R.T criteria for self-help stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Resource-oriented, and Time-bound. It is a guideline originally used for fulfilling leadership and managerial functions. But with a little tweak on words, it can be used for everything by everyone.

When setting goals, you begin with the biggest and most amazing dream you've ever had. Feel free to use your childhood dream (unless it involves acquiring superpowers). Your dreams as a child is actually a good way for you to figure out what will make you genuinely happy and accomplished. After identifying and visualizing your ultimate life goal, you can start applying the S.M.A.R.T criteria. Simply follow these steps:

1. Specific

How would you know if you've hit bulls-eye without painting the target yet? Obviously, being as specific as you can is imperative in setting goals and objectives. Do you want to have exactly $1,234,567.89? A Bugatti Veyron? A three-story mansion in Antarctica? These will be your main long-term goals.

You will also need to identify your objectives and short-term goals that will help you accomplish your main long-term goals. For example, if you want $1,234,567.89 dollars, you can invest in multiple businesses, become a professional athlete, write a best-selling novel, and so on. Your imagination -- and the laws of physics -- are your limits.

2. Measurable

Well, in case you actually set $1,234,567.89 as a lifetime goal, then you're already done with this part. However, you should know that the purpose of setting measurable goals is for you to know whether or not you're getting closer to achieving them. It will also help you track your progress and identify whether or not your current strategy is working. For example, you specifically wanted to lose 15 pounds in 1 month -- but instead gained 20. Perhaps your "Cake diet" is not working so it's time to change your strategy.

3. Attainable

Take a look at the state of the world in terms of technology and other possibilities. Is it really possible to build your batmobile complete with weapons and all? Or perhaps you want to create your very own Optimus Prime in the hopes of saving humanity? Attainability -- this is where reality comes into the picture.

4. Resource-oriented

You should include plans on how you will acquire and manage resources for the accomplishment of your goals; short-term and long-term. Do you want to use $50,000 to open up a restaurant? Do you want to sell the house you've inherited? Anything that involves your ability to handle financial and other resources must be planned in setting your goals.

5. Time-bound

This is perhaps the most important part of setting goals. After specifying your long-term and short-term goals, your next responsibility is to organize them into a complete timeline. The best way to start is first identify which goals you want to accomplish within the next five years and continue to create goals yearly. Make sure that the short-term goals you've set for yourself each year is relevant for accomplishing your main goals.

Also remember that time is a very important resource. It is something that can neither be created or destroyed. Only two things are for sure -- you will keep on spending time regardless of what you do, and your time here on earth is finite and will someday deplete.


Following the S.M.A.R.T criteria for setting your goals will definitely help you achieve them. It is also a very healthy way to have a positive outlook in life as well as to get the motivation needed to become truly successful.

Remember that nothing comes without hard work. Just make sure you take good care of your health and try to enjoy the crazy ride called life.


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    • Meo Antolin profile image

      Romeo Antolin 3 years ago from Philippines, Asia

      Thanks :)

    • preweb profile image

      preweb 3 years ago from UK

      Great hub. Voted up and shared.