Setting SMART goals

You have an exam to study for? You have a project to submit? You want to lose weight? These are all goals that you need to achieve. An effective way to reach your desired goals is to set SMART objectives. The term “SMART” is an acronym with 5 elements that stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound, that are explained below.


Specific – Be specific when setting any goal. The goal should have a clear, highly-specific endpoint. For example, if we looked at a common one for people like “Eating healthier,” it sounds like a good idea, but it is vague. Instead, aim for specific goals, such as eliminating soda, eating five servings of vegetables a day, or limiting your daily sugar intake to 30 grams.

Measurable – Making the goal one you can measure. For example, if we look at exercising like “walking more”; this isn’t trackable or specific. Walking three days a week is a goal you can track.

Attainable – If the goal isn’t attainable it is human nature to give up. Choose a goal that is challenging yet possible. Avoid aiming too high or too low.

Realistic – Setting realistic goals is important because it keeps the person's motivation up. However, unrealistic goals discourage the person through the process and is more likely to give up. For example, losing 3 kilos a week sounds great, but it’s an impossible goal that will likely leave you discouraged – and more likely to give up on their efforts.

Time-Bound – Finally, setting a time frame for your goal helps quantify it further, and helps keep your focus on track. Write your efforts down on a goal sheet so progress can be tracked.

In conclusion, setting SMART goals makes it easier to achieve.

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