How to Make SMARTER Goals

Every year around this time when many begin to reflect on the year and look ahead to the next. This is also when men and women around the globe begin to make new year resolutions. They set goals for themselves of on how they’re going to lose weight, or they’re finally going get that project done or they’re going to lay down a bad habit. Sadly, most people don’t even make it through the week. Why? It’s not because they didn’t make a goal. It’s because they didn’t make a SMARTER Goal.

Several years ago I found this goal acronym on how to put together a SMARTER Goal:

S  :     Specific.   Get very specific with what you’re shooting for here. Don’t make your goal so broad that it seems generic.  Here’s an example: Generic: I want to lose weight. Specific: I want to lose 15 pounds.  The clearer the target, the clearer the direction.

M :  Measurable.  Obviously there are some goals  that are  intangible in nature  and seem difficult to measure, like “I want to grow in my love toward my fellow man.” But, most goals can be measured. Most people resist measuring their goals because we don’t want to see that we’re failing. Measuring, however, allows us to know how we’re doing  and make adjustments as needed.

A   :   Attainable.  When we set a goal for ourselves or others that is unattainable  we’re set up for failure. This doesn’t mean you can’t go after audacious goals. It means you go after goals that are in this solar system. Balance faith and wisdom.

R   :  Relevant.  If the goal isn’t relevant to your life; your passion and zeal will fall away quickly and you’ll quit. It must apply to your life.

T   : Time-bound.  Set up a time frame of when you’re going to have this goal accomplished. Constantly moving the due date only promotes procrastination. You subconsciously devalue due dates when you always move them out.

 E   : Evaluate. Set up a regular time when you will evaluate how you are tracking toward your goal. Depending on the type of goal it could be daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Then make adjustments as needed.

R   : Reevaluate. Experience doesn’t make you wise. I know plenty of people who have experienced a lot but are not the wiser for it. Wisdom comes from evaluating our experiance and learning from it. Continue to come back time and again to your goal and wrestle with these questions: 1. Am I making progress? If not, why? 2. Is this goal still relevant. 3. What am I doing that is only wasting my time and resources?


Remember, the path to attaining your goals is filled with hard work, discipline and the mundane at times. Keep going!

Let me hear from you! What would you add to this list? What would you tell someone that is reaching for a goal? Share below.