What are the 5 smart goals? (+4 ways of achieving them)

This post will be explaining what the five smart goals are. In this article, we will also be detailing the importance of smart goals, how to implement them and if they actually work. Smart goal setting has been followed for a long time in businesses and workplaces. Since goal-setting itself is fundamental to any process, it allows smoother work and better productivity.

What are the 5 smart goals?

The five smart goals are listed as follows:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Achievable
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Time-framed

Smart goals are being increasingly used in workplaces and organizations to allow better productivity and increase profits. The different elements of smart goals are explained in detail below.

  • Smart goals are highly specific in nature

While setting smart goals, the person has to be highly specific. The more specific the goal is, the more the person is bound to achieve it. It also increases the motivation levels and also guides the process of achieving the goal. Setting specific goals also shows the individual when they have been attained so that they can move on to the next goal.

  • Smart goals should have the ability to be measured

If the goal cannot be measured, then the person will not know when they have achieved it. Due to this, the individual cannot track the process and the progress they have made cannot be visualized. This can lead to a decrease in motivation levels. However, having a goal that can be objectively measured shows an individual if they are succeeding or failing in the task.

  • Smart goals should be achievable

In the phase of goal-setting, an individual should set goals that can be attainable by them. Setting a goal that cannot be easily achieved can lead to failure of reaching the goal. Achievable goals ensure more success, thus motivating the person to work harder and faster.

  • Smart goals should also be realistic

When we say that smart goals should be realistic, it does not mean an individual cannot dream of extraordinary things. This simply means that the goal should be attained by improving the individual’s current abilities and talents. If the goal is not realistic, there is a chance that the person might lose their way, thus setting them farther back from the goal itself.

  • Smart goals should be time-framed

Having a goal that should be achieved in a certain time period allows the work to be done more efficiently. When a goal is set in a particular time-frame, there is better planning and organization. This also keeps track of the progress and can motivate the individual further.

Importance of smart goals

Goal-setting is an important step in any project. And smart goal-setting ensures the goal itself will be achieved in a more efficient manner. Smart goal setting also brings more innovation and a positive mindset to the individual. It can pursue people to step outside their creative zones and work on newer ideas.

When individuals set smart goals, even challenging projects are seen as simple. This is because the process of achieving the goal has become outlined. The individuals feel guided and can see the end-goal clearly. They can also set themselves back on track in case they lose their way.

Smart goals are highly effective and thus are being used increasingly in business organizations. These smart goals help teams to work and collaborate better. Team leaders set smart goals that tend to have more meaningful and greater impacts on communities. Aligning the smart goals with the organizational vision and values create greater impacts.

Smart goals can also be used for personal lives. They are used by therapists, life coaches, teachers, mentors, etc. This simple strategy can be used for any purpose at any point in life. Since it is easy to learn and implement, smart goal setting has become highly popular. These goals help individuals tap their potential to the fullest and climb higher in their career or personal lives.

Implementing smart goals and achieving them

To achieve smart goals, it is important that we understand how to implement them. This is explained through the following methods:

  • Writing your goals down

Once you have set your goal, it is important that you write it down. Research studies have shown that writing a goal down can help you achieve it better. It motivates you to achieve it in a more efficient manner.

You can choose any method of your choice to write your goals down. You can write them down in a piece of paper, or in a journal or poster. You can also type them down in a note app on your phone or a document on your computer. Writing your goal in a place where you can easily see them is crucial in this step and furthers your chance of success.

Regularly going over your goals

After setting the goal, it is important to check-in regularly. This action helps you get motivated and inspired to reach it. Regularly going over your goal will also help you keep track of your progress and see how far you have come along.

Regularly checking in with your goals will also ensure you stay on track and follow the process you have planned. This will help you stick to the plan and reduce wastage of time and effort. When you face challenges, going over your goals again might also help you strategize and overcome them. In this way, your goals are achieved in a stable and smooth manner.

  • Assess your weaknesses

While it is important to focus on our strengths, it is also important that we evaluate our weaknesses. Sometimes those weaknesses might inhibit your progress, no matter how solid your plan might be. Being honest about your challenges is an important step. The more honest you are about the challenges you face, the more you are likely to overcome them.

Assessing your weaknesses requires a high level of self-awareness. Due to its sensitive nature, many individuals seek help through counseling or therapy in order to face their weaknesses. Finding the source of your weaknesses and working toward making them a strength can be useful not only in the ongoing project, but also in your personal life.

  • Celebrating your successes

In a goal-oriented plan, there are many sub-goals and different levels to be crossed. Each of these achievements needs to be celebrated and rewarded. The better you reward your mind and body, the more you are inspired to work. Rewards can be either tangible or intangible. Finding the right reward process for you can help you celebrate, be inspired and move on to the next step in the big plan.

Do smart goals work?

Yes, smart goals actually work. There is a reason why big organizations and businesses use smart goals in their day-to-day planning. Smart goal-setting is also used by successful individuals to plan out their activities. If used correctly, smart goals can lead to an increased level of success in a person’s life.

To use smart goals correctly, it is however very important to avoid some common mistakes. These are:

  • Setting goals that are way too big

While you can certainly aspire to dream big, it is also important to set realistic goals. Breaking down big goals into small attainable ones will not only allow you to achieve them faster but also in a more effective manner.

  • Not setting goals that are specific

When we set goals that are too vague, it might dilute the process of achieving them. When a goal is highly specific in nature, it allows you to measure your progress in an objective manner. This also leads to more productivity and efficiency in your work.

  • Setting goals that are not meaningful

Goals that have personal meaning and high relatability to you tend to be achieved faster. The levels of motivation are high since you attach a lot of importance to these goals. Meaningful goals also tend to be more applicable for your future progress.


This post has explained what the five smart goals are. In this article, we have also explained in detail the importance of smart goals, how to implement them and if they actually work. In addition, we have also mentioned the common mistakes one might make while setting smart goals.

Frequently asked questions:

How do I write down my goals?

Goal-setting is an important step for any successful project. In order to ensure their achievement, they need to be worded properly and carefully. We can use the following methods to set efficient goals:

  • Align goals with your bigger vision

When we align our smaller goals with a bigger picture in mind, we tend to be more motivated to achieve them. This also leads to more meaning. When the goal itself becomes highly meaningful to the person, greater are the chances of achieving it.

  • Not setting too many goals at once

When we set too many goals at once, we might not be able to achieve all of them. There is also a chance that the goals themselves will not be efficiently achieved. Setting too many goals at once also leads to more stress, taking the fun out of the process. Set an optimal number of goals, with relation to your schedule, your abilities and capacities.

  • Make them readily accessible to read

Once your goal is written down, it is important that we place them in a location where they might be often viewed. This creates constant reminders of the goal, motivating us to accomplish them. Many individuals find it effective to carry goals in their wallets, post them up on refrigerator doors or even create poster boards.

What kind of goals should I set?

Individuals can set many different types of goals based on their personal vision. There is always more room for development in an individual’s lives, and goal-setting can be a helpful process for this. The various types of goals you can set are:

  • Career goals
  • Financial goals
  • Personal goals
  • Family goals
  • Physical fitness goals
  • Mental health goals

What is a realistic goal?

A goal that can be achieved with your present abilities and capacities is called a realistic goal. The abilities can be your mindset, your time availability, your skill sets, your talents, your motivation levels, your health level, etc.

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