Setting SMART goals: How to be successful in life?

Setting SMART goals: How to be successful in life?

Have you thought about what you want to be doing in five years' time? Are you clear about what your main objective at work is at the moment? Do you know what you want to achieve by the end of the day?

Many people spend their lives drifting from one job to another, or rushing around trying to get more done while actually accomplishing very little.

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals.

Goals are part of every aspect of life and provide a sense of direction, motivation, a clear focus, and clarify importance.


Setting SMART goals means you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in life.

SMART goals are:

1. Specific

Your goal should be clear and specific, otherwise you won't be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve it. When drafting your goal, try to answer the five "W" questions:

What do I want to accomplish?                                              Where is it located?

Why is this goal important?                                                   Who is involved?

Which resources or limits are involved?

2. Measurable

It's important to have measurable goals, so that you can track your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to stay focused, meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal.

A measurable goal should address questions such as:

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

3. Achievable

Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. When you set an achievable goal, you may be able to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to it.

An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as:

How can I accomplish this goal?

How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?

4. Relevant

This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals.

A relevant goal can answer "yes" to these questions:

Does this seem worthwhile?                                                   Am I the right person to reach this goal?      

Is this the right time?                                                            Does this match our other efforts/needs?

5. Time-bound

Every goal needs a target date, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This part of the SMART goal criteria helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.

A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:

When?                                                                                     What can I do six months from now?

What can I do six weeks from now?                                           What can I do today?

SMART is an effective tool that provides the clarity, focus and motivation you need to achieve your goals. It can also improve your ability to reach them by encouraging you to define your objectives and set a completion date.

The SMART method helps push you further, gives you a sense of direction, and helps you organize and reach your goals.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.’’