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How To Set Smart Goals

Setting goals can be a daunting task. I’m hoping today to put a tool in your hand that will help you set goals without overwhelming you or making it seem impossible. Let’s get started!


Pull out your list from yesterday where you wrote your dreams down. First things first, we’re going to choose our top FIVE dreams, and then we need to prioritize them with the most important first, and so on. (You can do this with all of your goals, but to simplify things today, we’ll just be working with 5 dreams.) So take a minute, and write them down with the most important first. Got it? Good!


Now let’s work on actually turning that dream into a goal so that it’s something you can make a reality. We’re going to be using the SMART goal formula today. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based. You may be asking what in the world that means so I’m going to break it down for you.

  • Specific: specific goals are written so that it’s very clear on if you achieve that goal or not. There’s no room to question if you may have hit your mark because you were specific in defining your goal.
  • Measurable: a goal is measurable when you have concrete criteria by which you can check your progress towards your end.
  • Achievable: while it’s great to dream big, in order to actually achieve that dream through a goal, it’s got to be reasonable within our current means. You want it to be challenging, but if it’s such a big dream that you could never achieve it without drastic changes to your current circumstances, then it may be best to move it further down your list and work on a different dream first.
  • Realistic: this simply means that the goal has to line up with who you are, and move you in a direction that is consistent with your ideal life, not someone else’s ideals.
  • Time-based: I think everyone has heard the saying that dream is a goal with a deadline, and that’s true. Goals have a finished-by date attached to them to ensure that you’re making progress towards the end because life is going to get hectic, but a deadline will keep you on track towards achieving that end.

Alright! It’s time to apply this to a dream. For this exercise, I’m going to be using the dream of taking a family vacation to Disney. I’ll list out each step needed to achieve this based on the SMART goal strategy so that you can see what it looks like. Take the first dream on your list, and write it out in SMART goal format while I do mine.


SPECIFIC: Take a family of 5 to vacation at Disney World for 4 nights and 5 days

MEASURABLE: We’re going to say that for a family of 5 to take a 4 night/5 day stay in Disney, including travel expenses and food, it will be about $200/person/day so looking at $5,000 total for the trip

ACHIEVABLE: This dream is achievable, but it may take more time to get the money saved up so that just needs to be taken into consideration when setting my time-based goal

REALISTIC: This goal does line up with who I am and takes me in a direction consistent with my ideal life, and it is achievable

TIME-BASED: I would like to take this vacation with my family when my kids are all big enough to ride the rides so the date I am setting as my finished-by date is July 2019. I also feel like this gives me plenty of time to begin saving money to reach my goal.


Now that my dream is a SMART Goal, I can start strategizing on how to reach that goal. I’m not going to go into specifics here because that is what tomorrow’s post, Making Our Dreams & Goals Come True, is going to discuss. So go take some time to turn your TOP 5 dreams into SMART goals, and meet me back here tomorrow, same time, to formulate a plan to reach those goals!


If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to read more about this idea of SMART goals, then check out this article titled This Is Why Most Goals Suck . 


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