by Petri Maatta

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smart goals

Do you ever get the impression that you’re working hard but getting nowhere?

When you look back on the previous five or ten years, do you notice any improvement in your abilities or accomplishments?

Many individuals spend their lives moving from one position to the next, or speeding about in a bid to accomplish more.

SMART goals can help you to make sense of your ideas, concentrate your efforts, use your time and resources effectively, and enhance the likelihood of success in life.

We’ll look at what SMART goal are in this post, as well as how you may utilize them to achieve your objectives by looking at specific personal and business SMART goal examples.

SMART goals are an effective method to reach goals

SMART is an acronym that refers to

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Achievable
  4. Relevant
  5. Timely goal setting

Setting SMART goals is an essential component of operating a successful company or life.

How will you accomplish anything if you don’t know what you want?

Well, you can’t.

Setting goals, writing them down, and sharing them with others is crucial because it provides you with something to shoot for.

Sharing your goals with others makes them more accurate, and it holds you accountable for your actions.

Many organizations or individuals can achieve specific goals, but they lack a sense of purpose.

So how can you create individual goals that are compatible with the organization’s larger vision or your personal vision?

SMART goals: Why do goals matter?

Setting goals is hard. Achieving them is even more difficult for most of us according to recent goal setting statistics , just 8% of individuals achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

Few of us find setting meaningful goals easy, and it may even be hard to recognize the value of establishing SMART goals.

It’s tempting to “go with the flow” and “see where we end up

Setting objectives is more comfortable and relieves pressure on a potential failure, which most people are afraid of.

Why goals matter is because they help us identify attainable relevant goals that we want to achieve:

  • managements goals to increase sales
  • personal success
  • achieve their goals
  • write managements goals

The Law of Attraction is another powerful tool that can assist you in achieving your goals and objectives.

It’s all about setting your mind on what you want to accomplish and how you intend to get there.

However, if you don’t put your sights on what you desire and how to get it, there’s a good chance that nothing will happen. Many of us aim for the wrong things, while others aren’t focused.

Setting goals is an excellent method to keep track of your progress and, in effect, put your decision-making on autopilot.

SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely – all qualities you’ll need to create successful objectives.

Applying these technique will allow you to break down unachievable aspirations into actionable goals and advance in both professional and personal life.

This article will go through the history of SMART goals, what they are, and why setting them is crucial.

You’ll also get some practical examples and helpful hints along the way.

A History of setting goals and Management by Objectives (M.B.O.)

In 1954, Drucker published his book Management: The Classic Approach. M.B.O. is a method for organizations to identify their key objectives, how to achieve them, and who is accountable for the activities involved.

It allows businesses to break significant goals down into doable tasks and keep employees engaged by allowing them to see their success throughout the process.

In the same year, Edwin A. Locke proposed a goal-setting theory

He first exposed how setting specific and measurable objectives together with timely evaluation is considerably more successful for companies than attempting to achieve broad goals.

However, the idea also highlighted how pursuing something that is a stretch might help you stay motivated. Setting ambitious goals can keep you on your toes, help you learn new skills, and increase motivation and performance.

His study revealed that the more complex and specific a goal is, the more people try to achieve it.

Even though the aim must be challenging, it must be doable for the approach to work.

According to Allen and Bower, there are five critical goal-setting principles described by Locke and Latham:

  • Clarity – When you have specific, measurable goals in mind, you can concentrate on your objectives and determine what you want to accomplish.
  • Challenge – Setting ambitious goals increases people’s motivation.
  • Commitment – People are more likely to care about a goal if they helped create it.
  • Feedback – It’s hard to determine how successful the activity was without gathering and analyzing data, so giving and reflecting on feedback is crucial for assessing progress and pinpointing areas where you can improve.
  • Task complexity – People frequently overwork themselves when performing demanding responsibilities, losing sight of the intricacy of their positions. As a result, it’s vital to consider it while establishing objectives.

George T. Doran was the first to use SMART Goals in 1981.

He was a manager of corporate planning for a Washington Power Water Company who wrote a paper titled, “There Is A S.M.A.R.T.’ Way To Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” The approach has shown to be quite successful across many sectors and is used by many businesses, not to mention most coaches and mentors on Earth.

Doran recognized that many organizations establish objectives that are too broad to impact the company’s performance. As a result, he believes that setting up SMART objectives is critical for influential leaders to manage their staff effectively.

What is a SMART goal?

These are individuals or goals that someone attempts to achieve over a set time. Employees create these objectives, reviewed and approved by a line manager. They frequently connect to broader corporate goals and team and department objectives.

The definition of the acronym stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Why is it important to set goals?

According to Doran, establishing objectives and formulating action plans for each purpose are the most crucial phases in a business’s management procedure.

Goals have significant value in terms of personal success and company-wide growth. The method is mainly built with companies to help them achieve more substantial results and achieve their goals. There are five excellent reasons to establish SMART objectives, according to Jeff Boss:

1. Goals provoke behavior

Take a look at the end of this post to see how you can stay motivated to save money. Imagine you want to travel. If you don’t know where or when you want to go, how long you’ll be gone, or who with, there’s a good chance you won’t have enough motivation to save up for your trip, and it won’t happen. How could that be? You won’t know how much money is required until after the event! In contrast, if you know your significant other in September, it will let you know how much money you’ll need to save every month from reaching your goal.

In “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive,” Robert Cialdini, Noah Goldstein, and Steve Martin teach how performing an active commitment immediately affect action. In one of the experiments they mention, researchers discovered that only 17% of a group of people who merely agreed to participate in a volunteer effort showed up to do so. Comparing that to those who decided to volunteer by active measures (writing it down, signing a contract, etc.), the proportion of people who showed up was nearly identical. Setting objectives stimulates behavior, as shown by science. The same may be said about any work goals you establish. Once you’ve determined what you need to accomplish, it’s considerably easier to take action towards it.

Sharing your objectives with others, on the other hand, forces you to be accountable for your actions. According to Jackie and John Coleman, by bringing others into the goal-making process, we not only let them know what we intend to accomplish but also invite them to hold us accountable as we work toward these goals. As soon as you reveal your aims to others, they become a reality.

2. Goals help to guide your focus

When you have a specific goal in mind, it will assist you to focus on what you need to do to accomplish it. Stephen Duneiner points out in his TedX Talk “How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals” 11 that the key to success for any large and ambitious project is breaking it down into its simplest form and making minor changes to improve your chances of success. As a result, creating objectives helps you maintain focus and accomplish them one step at a time.

3. Goals sustain momentum

Setting objectives is the most compelling aspect of goal-setting. Jocelyn Glei explains in Inc’s article, “Our brains are hardwired to seek completion. When you realize a task is finished, your brain releases dopamine, making you feel good and prompting you to repeat the action to feel more pleasure.” Flow is a term coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to describe a feeling characterized by total concentration and enjoyment. According to him, “A feeling known as flow is what makes an experience genuinely satisfying. People often have deep pleasure, creativity, and full involvement with life during flow.” Experiencing flow can have a beneficial impact on one’s work engagement. Consider your workout routines. It may be tough to start, but once you’re in the “flow,” you begin to enjoy the activity and want to do it again.

According to author and coach Benjamin Hardy, in his book Bullseye – The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Your Goals, a technique known as the POWER TIP achievement system is used to help you maintain momentum when you’re struggling to break bad habits that hold you back. It also enables you to keep “magic success” for long-term success.

4. Personal goals help you tie your actions to the bigger picture

You can’t achieve your personal or professional goals if you don’t set big goals into actionable steps. You also allow yourself time and space to assess what you need to do to accomplish your personal or professional aspirations, which is essential for breaking down significant dreams into manageable chunks. Setting SMART objectives also helps workers and managers align their objectives with the company’s larger goal, which boosts productivity and helps maintain corporate culture and keep everyone on track. Setting individual targets allows businesses to ensure that each team member is invested in the company’s development and improvement and aware of their responsibilities.

5. Setting goals is essential for self-leadership

Last but not least, goal-setting is an essential instrument for self-leadership. Setting objectives enables you to define what’s most necessary to you and builds your character while also maintaining personal and professional development—making goals forces you to evaluate your performance regularly and update yourself. If you don’t have enough coaching from your supervisor, it’s critical to create tools to self-coach yourself. And if you’re a busy manager, you must constantly provide your team with methods to enhance and interact with their work. It will help you be more efficient in your job while also maintaining a healthy balance between work and life.

What does setting SMART goals mean?

It’s challenging to keep up with successfully executing changes in today’s dynamic, fast-paced world, making it more challenging to keep the workforce aligned with corporate goals.

The changing work culture and increased use of contract workers, remote working, and operating worldwide businesses from multiple locations all make it tough to maintain staff alignment.

As a result, setting objectives for individuals, teams, departments, and organizations is critical for any leader.

How to set SMART goals for yourself?

Following the template provided by the 5 SMART criteria is a straightforward procedure. If you want to skip thjs section, scroll down to see the examples first.

1. Specific

First, make sure your objectives are explicit and give you a precise aim that will offer you a sense of purpose. If you establish a plan to boost internet traffic, it won’t provide adequate motivation or notify you when you’ve achieved your goal. Instead, consider the following questions:

  • What am I looking to accomplish?
  • Why is this goal important for me or my business?
  • What are the roles of those involved in the process?
  • What are the difficulties I may encounter, and what limitations am I subject to?
  • How am I going to accomplish this?
  • To create SMART objectives, you could utilize the following verbs: acquire, develop, fulfill, drive, enhance, manufacture, and standardize. This helpful list of action verbs for SMART goals may be found at this link.

2. Measurable

Goals must be measurable to be effective. As a result, you’ll be able to evaluate your success and see whether or not you met your objectives. As a result, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER:

  • How will I know when it is accomplished?
  • What metrics will I put in place to determine when I’ve accomplished what I set out to do?

3. Achievable

We frequently have huge aims and grandiose goals that appear to be unattainable. Breaking down one giant objective into several smaller objectives will provide you with a succession of pleasurable experiences as you work your way toward the ultimate goal. As previously said, aim high yet reachable,

  • What am I going to do to reach this objective?
  • Is the purpose feasible?

4. Relevant

Why are you aiming to accomplish this goal? Larger goals should always be linked to the more modest ones you want to realize or the ones your firm and team are working toward.

  • Is it true that all of my objectives align with the team, department, and corporate goals?
  • Is the task worthwhile?
  • Setting personal objectives is only the first step in your success. You’ll be more focused if you align your aims with those of other people or groups.

5. Timely

It isn’t easy to achieve your objectives if you do not set a deadline. Every goal must have a time limit. It’s critical to establish deadlines for your time management and project management in the workplace. To form time-based goals, you usually need to respond to one of these concerns:

  • When do you intend to accomplish this objective?
  • What can I accomplish in the next six months?
  • In a year, what can I accomplish?

Now that you know what SMART goals are and why they’re important for your life and business, let’s take a look at some SMART goal examples to help you get started.

These SMART goal-setting examples illustrate how to develop tremendous personal, business, job, and leadership objectives.


Setting goals is essential to any successful endeavor, be it your personal life or professional career.

And to set the most effective goals, you need to use the SMART goals system.

This guide has walked you through each step of creating SMART goals for 2022, so that by the end of this year, you’ll have have used this roadmap to create the success you want.

Let’s get started!

petri maatta, CEO
Petri Maatta

Petri Maatta is a photographer, filmmaker, and webdesigner who has been working for over 20 years in the creative industry. Fascinated by manifesting for business reasons, Petri was determined to find out what it took to create success. He started his career with seven years of business failures before he found success by learning about manifesting from a mentor with a Fortune 500 company. Today Petri shares his knowledge through DreamMaker courses designed to help people change their businesses and lives while living on their terms.

Read more About us or read My Story.


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