Be more than SMART with your goals

Have you set your goals for 2019? How's it going? Need a new perspective?

Most people in a business setting are familiar with setting SMART goals.

As a recap, by SMART goals, we're looking for goals to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.

SMART goal overview - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound

I've worked in places where it was used as a checklist for your team reviews: every goal needed to be SMART. And it's a good framework.

But sometimes it doesn't seem to fit easily with the goal or the situation.

Here are a couple of different options for you to consider, if SMART isn't working out for you.

But how can you be more than SMART with your goals?

You can start with the revised version of SMART which is SMARTER.

This changes the acronym to:

Specific - as before

Meaningful - they need to mean something to you, it's the 'why you're doing it'

Achievable - as before

Relevant - need to be relevant to your life and core values

Timebound - as before

Evaluate - check on progress regularly, which for most will be daily

Readjust - if you've hit a brick wall for the umpteenth time then tweak it (don't just throw out the goal - remember it's meaningful and relevant to you!)

Getting away from SMART completely

For some people, there's a bit of a psychological block to using SMART or even SMARTER in goal setting. Sometimes it's because it feels like work and the goal is related to a personal objective. Or maybe SMART just feels too corporate and you want to be more free or creative. Or you want something simple.

Try the 4Ps.

(Note: If you're a marketing type like me, forget about your marketing Ps. This is totally different!)

The 4Ps are:

  • Personal - your goal means something to you and fits your core value(s)

  • Positive - it's phrased in a positive way (I will find a career... rather than I will leave..)

  • Possible - it is something that you will be able to achieve, even if it's a challenge

  • Present - try writing your goal in the present tense such as 'I am in a job I love' rather than the usual future focused voice, such as 'I will find a job I love'.

Give it a go! Find a goal that you've given yourself for 2019 and go through the 4Ps to see if you can improve your goal to increase your opportunity for success even more.

Note: I've mentioned values and core values a couple of times. If you would like my Values Exercise, please message me and I'll send one over!

And for more support and clarity with goal setting, give coaching a try. Set up a time for an initial discussion at

Dream. Plan. Act. Achieve.

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