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What is a SMART goal?

Updated: Feb 9



So, it’s January. Most likely, you’ve set a goal. Hooray! But how do you know if it’ll stick? Research shows that 92% of people don’t achieve their goals! If you want to see lasting change, then you have to make sure your goals are SMART, crystal clear, and just the right level of challenge. 


While setting New Year's resolutions can be a positive and motivating practice, it's important to approach it with realistic expectations and a sustainable mindset. Many people find success in breaking larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps and maintaining a flexible attitude toward progress. Additionally, setting resolutions throughout the year when the individual feels ready for change can be just as effective as waiting for the start of a new year. There is a familiar acronym that is useful when setting goals: SMART. 


SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When setting goals, using the SMART criteria can help you create clear, achievable objectives. Here's a breakdown of each component:


  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to accomplish. Be precise about the goal, avoiding vague or broad statements. Ask yourself the who, what, where, when, and why to make the goal specific. 

  • Example: Instead of saying, "I want to get in shape," a specific goal would be, "I want to lose 10 pounds in the next two months by jogging three times a week and cutting down on processed foods."


  • Measurable: Establish criteria to track your progress. Include specific, quantifiable details to determine when you have reached your goal. 

  • Example: If the goal is to improve communication skills, a measurable component could be "I will have conversations with three new people per week, to practice small talk.” 


  • Achievable: Ensure that the goal is realistic and attainable. Consider your current resources, skills, and time constraints. While goals should challenge you, they should also be reachable. 

  • Example: If you're not a mathematician but want to improve your math skills, aiming for an A in a calculus class might feel daunting! However, setting a goal to watch one YouTube video per week on a math skill that you feel unsure about could be a great idea.


  • Relevant: Your goal should align with your broader objectives and be meaningful to you. It should be worthwhile and help you move closer to your long-term aspirations.

  • Example: If your overall career goal is to become a chef, a relevant goal would be to make a new recipe once a week. 


  • Time-bound: Set a timeframe for achieving your goal. This adds a sense of urgency and helps you focus on the necessary steps within a specific period.

  • Example: Instead of saying, "I want to read more books," a time-bound goal would be, "I will read two books per month for the next six months."


By incorporating these SMART criteria into your goal-setting process, you create a structured and well-defined path to success. Regularly review and reassess your goals to ensure they remain relevant and adjust them as needed- remember we need to own a flexible mindset to grow! 


The process of setting SMART goals can be overwhelming at first. However, it is imperative to the success of setting goals that can be achieved. If you are struggling with this concept, give us a call or visit www.wethrivelearning.com today to see how we can help with goal setting. We aim to make it a daily part of meeting with clients and families. To watch your child thrive and transform, let us help!

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