Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: How to set your S.M.A.R.T. goal in 5 minutes – and achieve it

STRENGTH & FOCUS: How to set your S.M.A.R.T. goal in 5 minutes – and achieve it
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We all set goals. Well, to be honest, many of us do. I’m sure you and I can both name a handful of friends and colleagues who absolutely never set goals. When asked why, they probably offer this excuse: “What’s the use? I never achieve them anyway,” which is a sound argument, isn’t it?

In fact, I’m sure these people have a laundry list of reasons why they can’t reach the goal line, and the biggest accomplishment they have to their name is convincing themselves that they can’t succeed.

But enough about the folks who don’t set goals; let’s put them on the back burner for a moment. How about the people that do set goals but have difficulty achieving their desired results? What stops them from getting the job done?

And where do you fit on the spectrum? Are you someone who completes any and all tasks easily and effortlessly, or are you someone who tastes infrequent success? Sometimes you knock it out of the park, while other times you’re left running around the field hoping for a sign of what to do next. If this sounds like you, then perhaps it’s a matter of setting a clear and definite goal to move towards.

Remember – if you don’t know where you’re going, then how will you ever get there?

A big reason many people have infrequent or little success with their goals is because the end point itself is too vague. These people set goals such as:

  • I want to lose weight.
  • I want more clients.
  • I want more money.
  • I want a better job.

But what does any of that mean?

How much weight, and by when? How many more clients, and what type of person do you want to work with? How much more money? What kind of job – an advancement or a career change?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Now, before we can take any steps toward victory, we need to determine our destination by setting a clear, definite, and well-thought goal – a S.M.A.R.T. goal. To better serve you and to keep you on track, S.M.A.R.T. goals have certain criteria that have to be met. These key points will help you stay focused on what you expect to accomplish.

S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria:

S – Simple, Specific

Your goal must be specifically stated and written in simple terms. You’re not writing a mission statement. One or two sentences will do the trick.

M – Measurable, Meaningful to you

You must be able to measure your progress. A great way to measure is with numbers, of course. Also, it must be meaningful to you. This is your goal, not someone else’s.

A – Achievable

Is this goal something that you (yourself) have the ability to achieve?

R – Realistic

Can you complete this goal within the time frame that you set? In other words, don’t create a ridiculous goal and set yourself up for failure.

T – Time-based, Towards what you want

What date do you want to accomplish this goal by? There has to be an end point or deadline. Also, make sure that the goal is towards a much bigger goal – the big picture. Don’t create random goals that serve little purpose or move you away from the bigger and most important goals in your life.

Watch this quick video to see how easy it is to use the above criteria when setting your goal. This is something that can be done within five minutes!

If you’d like a free worksheet to set your S.M.A.R.T. goals, then e-mail me at and write “My SMART Goal” in the subject line.

Until next time, thanks and be excellent!

P.S. In a few weeks, when you set your New Year’s resolution, use this formula!

Create the future you want with the choice to change now! This column offers Strength & Focus for the moments you need to overcome the distractions of the week, each and every day. Look for it every Monday on NEPA Scene.