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A Guide to Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals

Whether you’re intentional about it or not, we all have goals. It could be to sleep better, eat healthy, complete that online course you’ve abandoned for 2 weeks or to start sharing your work online. The difference between the person who can’t seem to achieve their goals and the person who always seems to achieve their goals isn’t luck, its effective planning!

In this article, we would guide you on how you can plan effectively using S.M.A.R.T goals.

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant and Timely goals.


Your goals need to be specific! This helps you have a sense of direction, focus and clarity. It provides a clear roadmap for you. Say for instance you want to build a successful career in product management, you can be more specific by writing a list of skills you need to learn to become a successful product manager, join a tech community, leverage social media to get opportunities to work so as to help you achieve your goal of building a successful career. Specifying your goals makes it look less cumbersome and it reduces your chances of feeling overwhelmed or demotivated. 


Now that you’ve become more specific, you need to make sure your goals are measurable so you are able to keep track of your progress. If you have a goal to complete a 6-week online course that would help you learn the skills you need, you can commit an hour everyday to the course, that way you’re able to complete the course in time and get the best of it. Whatever you decide to do, break it down and have deadlines to keep you on track.


This means being realistic with your goals. If you know you’re usually busy with work or school for 11 hours a day, it’s not realistic to set a goal to study your online course for 5 hours a day. You would find it difficult to achieve and may even burn out and lose motivation. It’s okay to stretch yourself but remain realistic. Ask yourself, based on my current lifestyle can I achieve this goal? How can I accomplish the goal I have and remain consistent?


This is basically making sure whatever you’re doing is relevant to the ultimate goal you have. For instance, you want to build a successful tech career and one of the ways you want to achieve this is networking at events. Before going to any event, ask yourself “Would the people I’d meet contribute to my goal of building a successful tech career?”, “Would the discussions at this event benefit me?”, “Is it worth my time and effort?” This would help you make better decisions. You don’t have to do everything, decide what’s important and relevant to your goal then invest your time and effort there.


Every goal needs a timeframe. Having a deadline helps you stay focused; it translates to prioritizing better, managing your time and avoiding distractions that can prevent you from achieving your goal. When you’re focused, you may even achieve your goal before the time you set! Always have a period of time dedicated to your goal.

Everyone has a goal but not everyone would achieve them, you need to plan effectively if you would make the impact you desire.

Which of the S.M.A.R.T tips do you need to start using?

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