S.M.A.R.T. is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of goals and objectives for better results, for example in project management, employee-performance management and personal development.

SMART helps people create a clearly defined and detailed plan for succeeding at their goals. It’s an acronym that stands for:

• Specific
• Measurable
• Attainable
• Relevant
• Time-bound

Sometimes you’re presented with a wonderful framework, but you still feel stuck. We’re here to walk you through exactly how to use the SMART method. To get started, try to answer the questions below about each of your new goals:

• Specific: What do you want to achieve? What will the outcome of your goal look like? Specific goals are easier to focus on.

• Measurable: Is this a goal that you can track? How will you do that, and what progress do you want to see over time?

• Attainable: Be honest with yourself. Is this goal attainable? If it’s not, go back to the drawing board and try to think of something more achievable for you at the moment.

• Relevant: Before you begin pursuing your goals, make sure they’re relevant and realistic. As you work toward achieving them, things may change, so make sure you adapt your goals if needed. Something else might become a priority, and that’s OK.

• Time-bound: When exactly do you want to start working on this goal? Is this a short-term or long-term goal? Is it a series of smaller goals that build to a bigger thing? If they’ll take longer, are you prepared to keep working on your goals and wait a while for success? Set a deadline and keep yourself accountable.

Your SMART health goals are there to make you feel better and improve your health. Whatever your goals are, they’ll enrich your life with healthy habits.

Without goal setting, we’d all be lost. We wouldn’t know our true potential or be able to learn new skills. Never forget how important your goals are. With SMART goal setting and dedicated action, you’ll run past every finish line you set your mind to.

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