Internationally renowned business philosopher Jim Rohn says, “We want to set the goals that our heart conceives, that our mind believes and that our bodies will carry out.” We are intelligent beings and as intelligent beings we need to have SMART goals. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. outlines the set of criteria that your goal must follow in order for it to be a well-focused and achievable goal. That set of criteria is:

Specific: Do you know exactly what you want to accomplish with all the details?

Measurable: Are you able to assess your progress?

Attainable: Is your goal within your reach given your current situation?

Relevant: Is your goal relevant towards your purpose in life?

Time-Sensitive: What is the deadline for completing your goal?

Create Specific Goals

Jack Canfield in his book, The Success Principles, states that “Vague goals produce vague results.” There is no place in your life for vague goals. Your subconscious mind will fulfill whatever it focuses on and if your goals are ambiguous or incomplete, then you will achieve results that are also ambiguous or incomplete. You want to make your goal as detailed as possible in order to achieve the specific results that you desire. A specific goal is one that is clearly defined in such a way that anyone could come by and understand what you intend to accomplish. Your goal should contain a detailed description of what you want to accomplish; when you want to accomplish it by; and the action(s) you will take to accomplish it.

Bad example: “I want to write a book.”

Good example: “I want to write a book on time management that is at least 200 pages in length and have it done by December 16th. I’ll commit myself to writing at least 2 pages every workday until I reach completion.”

Create Measurable Goals

Always set goals that are measurable in some way. You need to establish a measuring stick for assessing the progress towards your goals because if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. A good measurable goal will be one where anyone can come up to you at the deadline and, by viewing the results, determine whether or not you have completed your goal. You also want to be able to see the progressive changes that you make on your goal so that you can judge whether or not you are reaching the completion of your goal. Select a standard unit of measurement that will enable you to see exactly how far you have come from the start of your goal and how far away from the completion of the goal you are.

Bad example: “I want to be rich.”

Good example: “I want to generate $100,000 in passive income within 5 years from this date.”

Create Attainable Goals

Having high goals that stretch you is important, but you need to also need to create goals that are realistic for your situation and skill level. Many people unfortunately set their goals and dreams so high that they are just not very realistic and, as a result, they never seem to reach their dreams in life. Creating goals that are not attainable is very disempowering and will only serve to demotivate you in life. Remember to set high goals, but be realistic about your goals. On the same note, goals that are too easily accomplished do not stretch you or make you grow as a person because they are not challenging enough. You will want to find that right mix of goal that is challenging, but not extreme.

Bad example: “I want to become a millionaire in 2 months.”

Good example: “I want to become a millionaire within 10 years by starting my own personal development company and doing seminars all over the world and by creating a line of passive income products.”

Create Relevant Goals

Having goals is great, but what is the underlying purpose for those goals? You want to create goals that are in-line with your personal mission statement or your purpose in life. Relevant goals ensure that you are dedicating your effort towards goals that are focused towards who you are as a person. It is similar to a college curriculum that focuses on specific courses for each major. All of us should create a mission statement for ourselves which is basically our purpose in life and all of our goals should spawn from that mission statement. Goals are just a means of achieving that mission in life. A goal can be very evil in nature and still abide by all the other criteria, but relevancy is the ethical check on that goal to make sure that this particular goal fits within your purpose in life.

Bad example: “Within one year, I want to become a warlord and have many loyal soldiers who will commit acts of terrorism on my behalf.”

Good example: “By the end of the year, I want to build a philanthropic foundation that helps feed the homeless.”

Create Time-Sensitive Goals

Every goal that you create must be time-sensitive in nature. Not having a time element attached to your goal breeds procrastination. We would simply be motivated to put the goal off for a later time and never get around to it. Goals must have definite starting points and ending points and milestones along the way.

Bad example: “I am going to do my homework.”

Good example: “I am going to finish my homework by 8pm tonight and I’ll achieve this deadline by spending one hour on each subject.”

By spending some time towards making sure that your goals fit the SMART criteria, you will ensure your success.

Author's Bio: 

For over 10 years, Tristan has inspired, motivated, and brought success to the lives of the people he’s touched. Tristan has competed athletically against Olympians as a gymnast, rescued and saved numerous lives as a police officer, became a successful entrepreneur and highly sought-after Personal Development Consultant, and became internationally recognized as an expert in the field of Personal Development and human potential. Tristan is the founder of the Synergy Institute, a San Diego based Personal Development Firm. His philosophy of passionate living and helping others fulfill their dreams has continually been the driving force that has placed him well above the industry standard. Visit Tristan's website at or by email at