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How to Set and Achieve S.M.A.R.T Goals for 2018

Do you have SMART goals?  S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-Oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time-Based.

Think of your goal-setting as a science experiment. 

Smart goal-writing can be applied to any new behavior or goal that you want to achieve.  Base your goals on something you truly want.   In this post, I will stick to a theme of fitness. 

You can also use SMART goal-writing techniques to make goals in: business, education, sports, coaching, and more!

So what are SMART Goals?  SMART Goals are:


Be Specific.

Being specific means setting goals that are clear and concrete.  You should be able to touch, taste, and feel a specific goal.

If the broad goal is “to feel better” or “to eat healthier” then the specific goal should be “to sleep 7 hours per night” or “to follow a macro meal-prep program 5/7 days per week.”

Being specific will help you acknowledge if you are actually taking the necessary steps to reach your big goals, and will give you an immediate action plan.


The next step in the SMART goal-writing process is to make your specific goals measurable.  Here are a few examples of measurements in goals:

  • 50 pounds
  • 4 ounces of protein
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 10 grapes

When a goal is measurable, it’s easy to see if you have met the goal or not.  It’s also then easy to adjust timelines, actions steps, and other elements to help you reach  the specific measurement that you originally hoped to attain.


Smart goals are based on actions.  Use your ‘objectives’ or ‘action-steps’ to meet your goals.  These are the ‘verbs’ in your goals.:

  • Workout
  • Drink (water)
  • Eat (meal-prep)
  • Walk
  • Run
  • CrossFit
  • Weight Train

Smart goals are action-oriented, which means you can pick out the specific actions you will take in order to achieve a goal.


SMART goals are realistic.

A realistic goal is subjective to each person based on their experience, networks, knowledge, and progress.  

What may be realistic to me could seem unrealistic you.

Use your personal judgement on what you can achieve realistically. 

What may seem unrealistic now, may be absolutely realistic in one or two years.  Have faith and trust yourself.


Smart goals are Time-Based, which means they have an end date.

Setting an end-date for a goal is very important.  You should be able to answer a simple ‘YES’ (I met that goal) or ‘NO’ (I did not meet that goal) on the end date.  You’ll look back at the specific measurement to decide on that day that‘YES’ (I met that goal) or ‘NO’ (I did not meet that goal).  

If you met your goal, it’s time to make a new one!  

If you did not meet your goal, no worries.  Simply adjust your actions, specifics, new measurements, and create a new end date.    Maybe over time, your goal changed.  If that goal isn’t a priority any more- then set a new SMART goal.  If you still want your original goal, fix the details and try again! 

You can do this!

Examples of SMART goals:

These are a few SMART goal examples.  Each goal is specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and is time-based:

  • Lose 20 Pounds by [end date]
  • Drink [1] gallon of water [per day]
  • Walk/Run [20] miles per [month]
  • Workout at least [3 days] per week for [x weeks]
  • Save $[amount] by [end date]
  • Make $[amount] per [month] by [end date]

Smart goals are goals you can control.

Your Turn!

Smart goals don’t work unless you do.  

You may need to take baby steps to reach big goals.  

You might also need to adjust goals as things change like: priorities, interests, or life.  

Grab the free printable below to create some SMART goals of your own for 2018!

Citation:  The SMART acronym first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives.” was the title and it was written by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham

Grab this Smart Goals Worksheet Free Printable SMART Goal-Writing Worksheet!