Top Tips for writing better SMART goals

Whether you a brand new to SMART goals, of you’ve had a go at setting them before, it can be easy to forget the details of how to write them. Setting goals is like plotting a course on a map — it provides direction and purpose. However, to make a goal truly work for you, it needs to be more defined then just a wish, or a hope. To truly maximise your chances of success, it’s essential to make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.


The first step in setting a SMART goal is to make it specific. Instead of a vague aim like “improve my fitness,” specify exactly what you want to achieve, such as “run a 10K race in under 60 minutes.” Clarity is key; the more precise your goal, the easier it is to work towards.

How to make sure your goal is Specific: Do you know when you will have achieved this goal? Would you know when to check off a box next to “Improve me fitness”? Probably not. But you will know when you’ve run 10K in less than an hour.


A goal should be measurable so that progress can be tracked and evaluated. Set smaller targets that you can gradually achieve on the way to your main goal. For instance, if your goal is to save money, specify the exact amount you aim to save each month or the total sum by a certain date. Measuring progress helps you stay motivated and adjust your efforts as needed.

How to make sure your goal is Measurable: Can you track your progress, and set interim goals along the way?


While it’s crucial to aim high, setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and disappointment. Ensure that your goals are achievable given your resources, skills, and circumstances. Sometimes this can be hard to judge. If your goal is measurable that is a good start, but can you get to your end result at the speed that you want? Weight loss often gets unstuck here – we may want to drop 3 sizes in a week, but that’s not achievable – or healthy!!

How to make sure your goal is Achieveable: Can you reach your interim goals consistently? If you’re not sure if your timeline is achievable, ask your friends or colleagues. An extra set of eyes may see things differently.


Your goals should align with your values, priorities, and long-term objectives. Consider whether pursuing a particular goal contributes to your overall growth and fulfillment. A relevant goal is one that resonates with you and inspires action. Avoid setting goals that are meaningful to others, or that you feel are expected of you but you don’t feel strongly about.

How to make sure your goal is Relevant: Ask yourself how your life will be different if you were to achieve this goal and nobody knew about it and nobody could tell. Would it still be meaningful for you?


Finally, set a deadline for achieving your goal. Without a sense of urgency, goals tend to languish indefinitely (then we are in “daydream” territory!). Establishing a timeline creates a sense of accountability and prompts you to take action. Be realistic yet ambitious when setting deadlines, and remember to periodically review and adjust them as necessary.

How to make sure your goal is Time-bound: Look at your interim goals and the timeline that is achievable. Then do the maths on how long it will take to get where you want to go at a consistent pace. On the other hand, if you feel you do better with extra pressure you can bring the date forward a litte, but make sure it’s still achievable!

Are you ready to feel SMART?

In conclusion, setting SMART goals is like laying a sturdy foundation for your journey towards success. By making your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, you increase your chances of turning aspirations into tangible achievements. So, the next time you’re setting goals, remember to SMARTen them up for a clearer path to success!

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

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