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Choosing to Succeed – Goal Setting

Setting goals is a fundamental part of personal and professional growth. It provides direction, motivation and a clear benchmark for measuring progress. However, not all goals are created equal. The S.M.A.R.T. goal framework offers a proven method to set goals that are more likely to lead to success. Here’s how S.M.A.R.T. goals can be a game-changer in your developmental journey.

What Are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. You need all five aspects to effectively create a plan for success.


Goals should have a desired outcome that is clearly understood and provide a sense of direction. Instead of “Become a better professional,” a specific goal would be “Improve my public speaking skills.”


A measurable goal allows you to track your progress. These are the numbers used with the goal. They give you a quantifiable objective for tracking, define what data will be used to measure the goal and set a method for collection. For example, “I will attend two public speaking workshops by the end of the quarter.”


Your goals need to be realistic and attainable to maintain the enthusiasm to try to achieve them. While it’s good to aim high, setting an impossible goal can be discouraging. 


Your goals should be aligned with your career path and personal aspirations. Professional goals should also be aligned with the mission of the company. Irrelevant goals can lead to wasted effort and resources.


All goals should have a target date. A deadline you can work toward, gives you focus and allows you do identify success or failure. This is why S.M.A.R.T. goals set a final date. It doesn’t me that all of the work is done, but it allows you to evaluate the success of the endeavor and set new goals. 

In personal development, S.M.A.R.T. goals motivate you to overcome challenges, learn new skills and grow as a person.

For professional development, S.M.A.R.T. goals provide a structured framework that ensures clarity, focus and measurable progress in skill enhancement. 

Implementing S.M.A.R.T. Goals

  1. Identify Your Objectives: Start by determining what you want to achieve in both your personal and professional life.
  2. Break Down Your Goals: Divide larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  3. Set Priorities: Decide which goals are the most important and allocate your time and resources accordingly. 
  4. Write Them Down: Documenting your goals can make them feel more tangible and provide a visual reminder of what you’re working toward. 
  5. Review and Adjust: Regularly review your goals and adjust them as needed to reflect changes in your circumstances or priorities. 
  6. Celebrate Wins: When you succeed, celebrate. But don’t think you have to wait until the entire goal is achieved before you give yourself a pat on the back. When you find yourself making excellent progress, celebrate that too! The little successes can help you maintain the energy to work toward the bigger goal.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are a powerful tool for anyone looking to succeed in personal and professional development. By using the S.M.A.R.T. goals system, you can create a roadmap to success that is clear and attainable. Remember, the journey to achieving your goals is just as important as the destination. Embrace each step, learn from the process and celebrate your progress. With S.M.A.R.T. goals, you’re not just dreaming of success, you are choosing it.

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