The 5 Rules to Follow to Become a SMART Goal Whiz [+ Freebie]

Feb 23, 2022

One of the best ways to guarantee goal-setting success is to ensure that each of your goals for your project or business fits the SMART formula. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. When your goals have these characteristics, you are much likelier to achieve them.

As a rule of thumb, we at Quill Shift suggest not having more than three large SMART goals per year. As each large goal can be broken up into smaller goals to achieve the larger goal, three main goals ensure that there is less overwhelm as tasks are undertaken.

Goal Setting Success

Setting short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals for yourself is the key to success in your life and business. If there are things that you want to achieve or ways that you want to grow, setting goals as stepping stones is an important part of getting there.

The SMART Goals Strategy

SMART goals are specific.

This means that your goal should be numbers-based, or have a specific goal in mind. A smart goal may be “Publish 25 podcasts,” or “Work 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break.” Both are specific goals without any vague phrasing left open to interpretation.

  • The more specific your goals are, the clearer it will be when you finally achieve them.
  • Break your large goals into smaller short-term and medium-term goals, with each smaller goal phrased just as specifically in order for them to be attainable and achievable.
    • Large Goal: Launch new website by November
    • Medium Goal: Hire web designer by July
    • Small Goal: Have a list of 5 websites I love and would like mine to look like by March.

SMART goals are measurable.

This is another reason why smart goals are numbers based. To know whether or not you achieved a goal, you must be able to measure your progress. SMART goals are goals that you can track and measure that have a clear end or point of attainment.

    • The ability to measure progress is really important in goal setting and goal achievement. It helps you determine whether or not you’re moving in the right direction. You can clearly track and measure both positive and negative progress along the way.

SMART goals are attainable.

Smart goals are goals that you can actually attain. They’re not extremely farfetched goals like “Get 10,000 followers on a new Instagram account in one month,” because if there’s no way to achieve the goal, why set it? SMART goals are goals that you’re physically and mentally capable of achieving. 

SMART goals are realistic.

SMART goals are not only attainable, but they are realistically attainable. They are a combination between a specific achievement that you can reach and a time frame that realistically coordinates with that achievement.

  • For that reason, a SMART goal would be, “Post 24 articles a year,” for a reasonable writing schedule of creating a publishing an article every two weeks.

SMART goals are timely.

Smart goals have time frames, and realistic ones at that. When you put a realistic time frame on your goal, it gives you something to work for. To “Write 24 articles” without a time frame lacks motivation. “Write 24 articles by December” has a realistic time frame that gives you something to work for and a date for completion.

Bottom Line

Setting SMART goals is the best way to guarantee success in setting and achieving goals for what you want in life. By setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, you can and will achieve the success in your business or project that you deserve!

But don’t worry if this still feels a little vague. We’ve created an easy download flowchart to help you ensure that your goals meet the SMART goals sniff test now and into the future.

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