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  • Writer's pictureAlly Massimi

Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T

We're almost there-2022! We've made it past Thanksgiving, and with more holidays approaching swiftly, many of us are beginning to think about what we want to accomplish in the new year. Now is the time for us to refocus and plan for the year to come!

I’m here to assure you no goal is a bad goal, but there definitely are bad goal setting strategies! Whether your goal for the new year is to go the the gym more often or spend less money at Target, planning how to accomplish your goals is essential and this is where S.M.A.R.T goals can help! S.M.A.R.T goal setting is one of the most researched goal setting strategies and one of the most effective! S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound and I’m here to breakdown exactly what each of these entails!


The ‘S’ in S.M.A.R.T stands for specific and serves as a reminder to make your goal as detailed as possible. Instead of writing “ I will cut back on spending,” it is better to be more specific and state, “I want to stop online shopping when I’m bored.” The second option displays how to cut back on spending, thus providing a more detailed goal.


The ‘M’ in S.M.A.R.T stands for measurable and reminds us the importance of being able to measure if we met the goal or not. For example, instead of “I will not eat out as much,” try “I will eat out no more than once a week.” “I will not eat out as much” is a good start, but by specifying “no more than once a week,” makes it easier to measure if the goal was met or not.


This tends to be the hardest marker to hit out of all of the S.M.A.R.T Goal guidelines. Attainable means that something is achievable and not too far fetched. In other words, you want to make sure your goal is challenging, but not too difficult that you are setting yourself up to fail altogether. For example, maybe you decide you want to host your own comedy show, but you’ve never done stand up comedy. An attainable goal would be to join an improv comedy class to learn more about what it takes to be a stand up comedian.


The ‘R’ in S.M.A.R.T stands for relevant. You want your goal to be relevant to you and associated with the end goal you want to accomplish. For example, let’s say you want to run a 5K race with your friend in the Spring, but you have not ran long distance since you were in high school. An irrelevant goal would be to make yourself a smoothie every day for breakfast. This goal will not help you become a better runner per say. A better goal would be “I will go for a run/walk 3 days each week for the next month.” This goal is more relevant because it will help you build up your endurance for the race and get you into the habit of running again.

Time Bound

Time Bound is the last essential piece of the S.M.A.R.T Goal guidelines. All goals should be time bound, meaning that your goal needs to have a clear end date in mind. Let’s use the previous example, “I will go for a run/walk 3 days each week for the next month.”. “…for the next month” serves as your timeline and is when you will assess whether or not you have met your goal to run/walk 3 days each week. It is recommended to make weekly and monthly goals for effective behavior change.

Tracking Your Goals

Now that we’ve talked about how to create S.M.A.R.T goals, let’s talk about how we can track them. Personally, I think keeping a journal with a list of goals and progress updates is perfectly efficient, but I do realize this may not be the preferred method for everyone. You can purchase a journal or calendar with planning features to track your personal goals. Another option is to track your goals electronically by keeping notes in your phone, utilizing your phone’s calendar, or using a goal tracking app. Some of the best apps for goal tracking include Strides, Way of Life, and Toodledo.

Vision Boards

Lastly, I want to talk about vision boards! Vision boards are an artistic way to set goals and visualize what you want for your future! Vision boards are meant to visually represent your goals and manifest what you want your life to become.

Vision boards can include personal photos, pictures from magazines, quotes, inspirational words, numbers, prints, drawings-anything you want! It is a visualization of what you want for your future, so let your imagination run wild!

Now, there are vision board templates out there that you can purchase on the internet, but I think a good old fashion collage is more fun! If you are interested in a digital vision board template or app check out this link for more information!

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