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What Do SMART Goals Stand For?

Updated: Feb 23

Are you tired of setting goals that you never seem to accomplish? Well, let me introduce you to the SMART method of goal setting.

S-M-A-R-T is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Each of these elements is crucial in setting practical goals that will help you achieve success. Let's break it down, shall we?

First off, your goals must be Specific. This means they should be clear and well-defined. For example, instead of saying "I want to get fit," a specific goal would be "I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 12 weeks by exercising three times a week and following a healthy diet."

Next, goals should be Measurable. This means that you should be able to track your progress and see if you're getting closer to achieving your goal. In the example above, we can measure progress by weighing ourselves regularly and tracking how many times a week we exercise and how closely we're following a healthy diet.

Achievable is the third element of SMART goals. The goal should be something you can realistically accomplish given your current resources and circumstances. For instance, setting a goal to become an astronaut when you are afraid of heights and physically not capable might not be the most achievable goal.

Relevant is the fourth element of the SMART goal. Your goal should be aligned with your values and what you want to achieve in life.

Finally, goals should be Time-bound. This means that they should have a deadline by which they should be achieved. Setting a deadline helps to keep you focused and motivated to work towards your goal.

A Real-life Example of a SMART Goal

If you are a freelancer, or business owner, setting SMART goals is key to achieving success and growing your business. But it can be hard to come up with specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals on the fly. That's why I've put together a few examples of SMART goals that a business owner might set to help get the creative juices flowing.

For example, let's say you're a business owner and you want to increase your online sales, here's an insight into how you can set your goal to ensure it is achievable:

  • Specific: Increase online sales by 25% within the next 6 months.

  • Measurable: Track online sales monthly and measure them against the previous year's sales for the same period.

  • Achievable: Utilize existing resources such as an email list, social media presence, website, and marketing budget to drive online sales.

  • Relevant: Investing in online sales will help to diversify the revenue stream and tap into a growing market.

  • Time-bound: Establish a clear deadline for achieving the goal which is within 6 months.

Another example of SMART goal-setting for a freelance designer who wants to see an increase in his client base would be:

  • Specific: Increase the number of new clients by 20% in the next 6 months.

  • Measurable: Track the number of new clients acquired each month and measure it against the previous 6 months' client acquisition rate.

  • Achievable: Utilize existing networks and resources such as social media and online portfolio to reach out to potential clients, attend networking events, and join online communities relevant to the freelance graphic design industry.

  • Relevant: Expanding the client base will increase the freelancer's income and provide more opportunities for professional growth.

  • Time-bound: Establish a clear deadline for achieving the goal in 6 months.

Now, it's true that we (business owners) are constantly juggling many things simultaneously, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. But by setting SMART goals, one can stay focused on what's essential and make steady progress toward achieving one's objectives. And remember, once you reach a goal, don't forget to celebrate, after all, it's not every day you get to be a goal-crushing ninja like you!

Why is goal setting important?

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it - that's the age-old adage and it's particularly true when it comes to setting and achieving goals. Goal setting is like a magic wand that helps individuals and organizations to stay on course, motivated, and focused. But why is goal setting so important, you ask? Well, let me tell you - It's like having a GPS for your life. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Goal setting pumps you up - like a shot of vinegar in your morning juice.

A study by the American Psychological Association found that individuals who set specific, challenging goals perform better than those who don't set any goals at all. Setting goals leads to a higher level of motivation and focus, resulting in improved performance...if you're into that kind of thing.

2. Goal setting makes you accountable - like having your mom constantly reminding you to do your chores.

When goals are set, individuals or organizations are held accountable for achieving them. This self-evaluation process helps identify areas that need improvement and make necessary adjustments. Only 6% of people who set goals achieve them, but those who track their progress have a significantly higher chance of achieving their goals...or getting nagged by their personal trainer (mom).

3. Goals can make you productive - like a caffeine shot.

An HBR report found that setting goals can lead to a 14% increase in productivity. When goals are set, individuals and organizations prioritize their time and focus on important tasks, leading to improved performance...or a mental breakdown.

4. Goal setting helps personal and professional growth - like a good book.

Setting goals helps individuals and organizations focus on personal and professional development. People who set goals for themselves are more likely to develop better skills and knowledge, leading to greater job satisfaction and career advancement...or a new set of gray hairs.

5. Setting goals makes you happy - like a warm hug.

When goals are achieved, individuals and organizations experience a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The feeling of an achieved goal is like no other; it brings increased levels of happiness and overall satisfaction to our lives.


The beauty of goal setting is that it is not a one-time event, but a continuous process of self-improvement and growth. Every goal achieved is a new stepping stone, leading to even greater aspirations and opportunities.

Remember, goal setting is not just about reaching the destination, but also about the journey and the person you become in the process. So, learn to dream big, and set those SMART goals, because, with hard work, determination, and a positive attitude, the sky is the limit.

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