December 30, 2022

SMART Goal Setting

I said a few days ago that I would write a bit about setting goals.  When thinking about setting a goal I think about which area of my life I want to change and how I want it to be different. Goal setting is like making a road map and you are more likely to reach the destination if you have planned the route, know where you are going and when you want to get there. You can also track your progress more easily.  The acronym SMART is used by professionals and is a tool to set goals. This is basically what it means.

SPECIFIC – the more specific the goal is the greater chance it has of being accomplished. Eg Instead of saying that you will lose weight, you will specify an amount of weight you will lose and say how you will do it. eg. I will lose a stone by meal prepping, going to the gym 3 times a week, not buying any junk etc. Another example is if your goal is to pay off debts you will say how much you are going to pay off and how eg £1,200 by paying £100 a month off my credit card.

MEASURABLE. Eg you will know if you have lost that weight or not when you get on the scales. You will know if you are paying a £100 a month off your debts by looking at your bank statements. If you said something like you want to be more confident you need to think how you can measure it.

ATTAINABLE Is it achievable? If you set a goal of paying off £10,000 debt in a year but you only earn £16,000 you might be setting your self up to fail.

RELAVENT. Is it meaningful for you? Does it fit in with your hopes and dreams? Does it fit in with your long term plans?

TIMED. When will you achieve it by? This helps you set a time line so that you know that you are making progress and can review to see if your actions are working.


When I have set a goal I ask myself the following questions.

  1. What is the current situation regarding this goal?
  2. What have I tried in the past?
  3. What has worked in the past?
  4. What else can I try?
  5. What would be the first step?
  6. What might stop me achieving my goal and how can I reduce this obstacle?
  7. On a scale of 1 to 10 how able do I feel to achieve this goals?
  8. If I asked my best friend, what would they say about my ability to attain this goal?
  9. What would happen and how would I feel if I did nothing to achieve this goals?
  10. Who might support me or help me?


I then write my action plan and break my actions into small steps as that makes them easier to achieve and so keeps me motivated

I hope this helps someone. Life coaching is a lot more detailed and focused but that is the starting point.

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  1. Karan Fowler December 27, 2023 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks Toni, just what I was looking for x

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