How to Write SMART Goals


Do you set New Year’s Resolutions?  According to a survey conducted by, the number one New Year’s resolution set is to “diet or get healthier” (71%).  This goal is closely followed by “exercise more” (65%) and “lose weight” (54%). Half of these people will fail their resolutions before the end of January.  Only an astonishing 8% will accomplish their resolutions.  That’s staggering.  I want you to be among that 8%. Here are some tips for writing better goals.  If your goals are SMART goals, there’s a greater chance you will achieve them. 

 Let’s use the “get healthy” resolution and turn it into a SMART goal. If your goal only states that you will get healthy, that’s way too vague even to begin to achieve.  What does “get healthy” mean? Does that involve losing the weight?  If so, how will you do it?  How much do you want to lose?  By when? Is it about exercise? If so, what is your plan? How will you measure your success? When will you start or end? 

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SMART is an acronym that stands for: 

S – Specific

M - Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time-Bound


SPECIFIC - be specific about your goal to get healthy and how you’re going to do it.   Get Healthy is too vague.  Instead, I’m going to lose 10 pounds.  I’m going to eat 1200 calories a day, eliminate snacks and desserts, drink only water, and work out 4 times per week.

MEASURE - make sure it’s something you can measure.   I currently weigh 150 pounds, and I want to weigh 140 pounds. I will weigh myself weekly to measure my success.  I will also keep a food journal and count calories so I can monitor what I’m eating.  And, I’ll track how I do against my goal to work out 4 times per week.


ATTAINABLE - it should be achievable.  10% weight loss is a reasonable goal, so it is definitely possible to lose 10 pounds. I’m going to add that my goal is to lose 1 pound per week (instead of 10 pounds in 1 week). Also, I know it’s attainable because I weighed that much before the holidays (oops).   And, I’m going to get up 1 hour earlier to ensure I have time to work out.

RELEVANT – it needs to be important to you.  This goal important to me because my pants no longer fit.  I don’t want to buy new pants.  So, I’m motivated to lose this weight.

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TIME-BOUND – define the timeline in which you’re going to get healthy and lose that weight.  I’m going to lose 1 pound a week over the next 10 weeks.  And, I’m going to work out 4 times per week.

Easy, right?  It’s your turn.  

Take your top three goals (see my blog on How to Set Goals for your Small Business) and turn them into SMART goals.  

Writing SMART goals improves our ability to accomplish.  We’re starting the year off with clear goals that we can measure.  Remember, only after you smash your top three goals can you set even more goals.