SMART Goal Setting

The SMART goal setting concept utilizes a mnemonic technique to assist people in their goal setting behavior. If you want a quick, simple way to reach success, use this device to accomplish your personal, financial, and professional goals.

To illustrate this concept, an example will be used. Amy wishes to stop smoking. She decided to use the SMART technique to set and achieve her goal.

S = Specific

The language of your goals must be specific.

Amy’s goal is too vague. She needs to answer the questions what, why, and how when defining her goal. To make it specific she could state that she will quit smoking, because she cares about her health and wants to be a better role model for her children. She’s going to quit smoking by utilizing the patch and nicotine gum. Also, she plans on occupying her time and hands by joining a knitting group.

M = Measurable

Goals need to be measurable which means they need to be number specific.

At this point, Amy’s goal is not measurable. To make it measurable she would have to set goals which include measurements such as, a plan on cutting down to one pack of cigarettes a day by the end of the first month.

A = Attainable

Your goal needs to be something that you can achieve, and you need to have confidence in yourself. If you believe that you’re going to fail from the beginning, then you’re more likely to fail. Confidence is one of the significant factors according to goal setting theory.

Amy set a goal to quit smoking in six months. She has outlined a detailed plan on how she is going to quit smoking within her timeframe. Currently, she is smoking two packs a day, so she sets short-term, attainable goals. The first goal is to consult with her primary care physician. The second short-term goal is to cut back to one pack a day by the end of the first month, half a pack a day by the end of the second month, one fourth of a pack by the finish of the third month, and two cigarettes a day by the end of the fourth month. At the conclusion of the fifth month, Amy plans to solely rely on nicotine patches and gum. By the end of the sixth month Amy plans on being free from relying on and using any substance with nicotine.

R = Relevant

Each short-term goal needs to relate to the long-term goal and be relevant to the participants.

If one of Amy’s short-term goals was to spend more time with her children, it wouldn’t be relevant to this long-term goal. That would have to be a separate goal.

T = Timely

The goals need to have a set end date. When do you wish to finish the goal? How long will it realistically take for you to be successful?

Amy makes her goal timely by stating that she will quit smoking cigarettes with six months, so her timeframe is clear.

Author: Arina Nikitina 

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