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The SMART Theory of Goal Setting


We like to abide by theories; they put a concrete spin on things. They make difficult tasks seem achievable. Even for your goal setting practices, there is a wonderful theory that you can use. This theory, popularly known as SMART, is a strategy you can implement to set goals that you can easily achieve. There are five aspects to this theory; each of the letters of SMART stands for one aspect of it.

S for Specific

The first aspect of goal setting is that you should be specific. Do not set something ambiguous which can be easily misconstrued. For example, “I want to become rich” is a very vague goal which can never be objective. For someone, earning $5,000 a month means they are rich, while another person may not think they are rich even they have earned a million dollars. Instead, the goal should have been more specific like, “I will earn a million dollars this year.” That’s just an example; you get the point.

 M for Measurable

You should be able to measure the success of your goals. In the above example, you can easily measure the success of your goal, because you have revolved it around a number. Other examples are “I will shed 5 pounds this month”, “I will read 2 chapters of this book every day”, “I will add to my wardrobe by 1 new dress each fortnight” and so on.

A for Attainable

Though it is all right to aim for the moon, you should be practical about your goals. You should stay within attainable limits. It is important that your goals should not go beyond your individual capacity too much. It is all right to challenge yourself a bit, but if you go too far, you are only going to lose your motivation and give up.

R for Realistic

If you aim for something like being the first person to live on Mars, your goal achievement won’t be too easy. And if you set something like you want to meet an alien today, it is probably not going to happen. Be realistic when you are setting goals. They should be something that can be achieved, but are just out of your reach for the moment.

T for Time-Sensitive

Give time great importance when you are setting a goal. Everything revolves around the time factor. If you achieve in a year what you needed in a month, the goal is probably not going to help you much.

Keep this theory in mind when you are setting your goals the next time. You will find that you are not only able to achieve your goals, but you can get greater satisfaction out of such achievement.


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