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Elements of S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting

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SMART goal setting is a guide to help you set effective goals. Many people fail to set achievable goals because they struggle with understanding what they want to accomplish and do not know how to tell when they have completed their goal. SMART goal setting makes it easier to accomplish goals as it includes five steps.


First off, the goal must be specific. Rather than a goal such as “I want to make a lot of money” the goal should be “I want to earn $1000.”


A measurable goal means that you can objectively tell when it has been completed. For instance, you will know if you have $1000 dollars if the money is there.


Goals must be attainable otherwise they are too hard too complete. Earning $1000 may seem like a big task so you can break it down to earn $100 each day. This may be more attainable.


Make sure achieving the goal is possible. If you have a job that only pays $100 a week, then it may not be realistic to try to get $1000 too quickly. But if you are able to sell something worth $1000, then this may be a realistic goal.


Set a deadline for your goal. You could say, “I want to earn $1000 dollars by Friday.” This way you have a specific amount of time to work with.


Cassandra Scheidies has been writing professionally since 1997. Her work has appeared in "The Kearney Hub" newspaper and "Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul." She holds a Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Denver Seminary.