How many times have you set a goal but failed to actually achieve it? I’m willing to bet that one step you missed was converting it from a simple goal to a SMART goal.
This process takes a goal that can be rather open-ended and ambiguous and convert it into a statement that has a beginning, middle, and end — providing you with a roadmap to achieve it. I like to think of it like this: Rather than just goal setting, you need to be goal planning.
To speed up the process, you can grab my SMART Goal Worksheet (featured above) which will walk you through the process of converting a simple goal to a SMART goal.
What is Smart Goal
We often think of goals as simple statements that declare something we want to achieve. But a better definition would be to think of goals as tiny roadmaps that help you progress toward a desired outcome.
Instead of those simple, one-sentence statements that lack direction, a SMART goal will help you transform your goal into a roadmap that is easier to follow, measure, and achieve.
What Does SMART Stand For
Specific – Include details! Identify exactly what you want to achieve and be as specific as possible. Measurable – Quantify your goal! Include numbers or specific markers for how you will measure progress and how you’ll know when you’ve reached your goal. Achievable – Rein it in! Be realistic about your time, skills, and effort, and adjust your goal so that it is achievable for you in this moment. Relevant – The why! Ensure your goals are aligned with your values and aren’t influenced by external pressure (society, spouses, friends, etc.). Time-bound – Include a deadline! Identify a timeframe or a completion date for each goal.
Examples of Smart Goals
Here’s an example of turning big goals into SMART goals:
Simple goal: “I want to improve my health.”
SMART goal: “To feel my healthiest before next year’s conference and travel, I will reach my water goal 5 out of 7 days a week, run twice a week, and eat at least two meals per day that nourish and energize me. I’ll track progress with my Habit Spreadsheet and aim to feel notable differences before December 31, 2023.”
Specific: I set specific health habits and routines to move me toward this goal.
Measurable: I’ve created a monthly habit tracker (get it, here) to measure my progress toward notable differences in my health.
Achievable: I’ve ensured the quantities and frequencies align with my available time/budget.
Relevant: I have a why — feeling healthier before attending a large conference and doing a lot of travel next year.
Time-bound: I’ve identified a deadline of December 31, 2023.
Simple goal: “I want to increase sales in my online shop.”
SMART goal: “To continue growing my business, I will increase sales in my shop by at least 30% by the end of Q1 by establishing an official affiliate program, expanding our wholesale program, and launching two new products.”
Specific: I’ve identified the exact routines and changes that will help with growth.
Measurable: I plan to increase my shop sales by 30% in 2022.
Achievable: I’ve been realistic about the time and energy I can commit to this goal and what revenue streams I can focus on.
Relevant: I want to increase sales so I can expand my collection and inventory for 2023 and continue growing.
Time-bound: I have identified the end of the first quarter (March 31).
Need a little hand-holding still? No worries. I created this free SMART Goal Worksheet to help you thoughtfully convert simple goals into SMART goals. If you want a little extra credit work, check out Episode 033 of The Plan Podcast, where I discuss how to set goals and actually achieve them (I go over the SMART method along with additional tips).