SMARTAR Goals are Smarter

SMARTAR Goals are Smarter

In one of my post 5 Ways to Use Your Marketing Plan to Define Your Business – Communications Gaye Boshart left a comment requesting that I consider posting something about setting goals. I thought it was a great idea so here is my ‘take’ on goal setting.

A goal is a vision of the way we see our lives in the future, and the change that it will encompass. We set goals so we will have something to works towards, but truly I believe we set goals so we will have something to live towards. Life is about the fulfillment of vision through the actions and outcomes we create. Goals do not have to be large, they just have to be envisioned and then acted upon.


This term is used a lot in business training to help people that must quickly make their vision become viable or they will loss the opportunity to continue to have their business. This acronym stands for:

S = Specific

M = measurable

A = Achievable

R = Realistic

T = Time-bound

I’m not going to go into great detail on these items because they have been taught quite a bit. Check out this article by Duncan Haughey, PMP I found on Google that gives some additional descriptions of each letter.

The additional two letters I like to add are:

A = Action and Accountability

You must take action. It is incredibly difficult to accomplish anything if you only think about doing it. If you have made a plan on what must be done, then stick to it. The best way to complete something is to tell someone else you are going to do it. You know the next time you see them they are going to ask how that task is going. You also know you cannot avoid them forever (unless you tell a stranger, but that doesn’t count). Being accountable to another person will propel you faster towards your goals.

R = Risk and Reward

You are taking a risk when you tell another person about your goals. The risks range from someone stealing your ideas, being laughed at or labeled an dreamer. The risk of not making a goal is that you will never reach your destination. It truly is only a dream if you have not set a goal and made it SMART.

So you have taken a risk and set your goals, used the SMART rules to define the goals and then took action with accountability. One thing many people forget to do when they reach a goal is reward themselves for all the effort it took to get there. Some would say the goal itself is the reward, but I believe when we stop to celebrate the action and commitment we start to recognize what we are really capable of doing. So tell yourself when you set a goal what your reward will be. Make it good so you will really know you’ve done it.

What is your best tip for setting goals?


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