Let’s Get S.M.A.R.T.!

Goal setting isn’t always easy.  It’s easy to say that you want to do something, but even how you say it can affect whether or not you actually accomplish it.  The SMART system is used in a wide variety of motivational arenas :  fitness groups, professional groups, educational groups, etc.  The acronym can change slightly depending on which group you’re talking to, but the general idea is as follows:


To set a specific goal you must answer the five “W” questions:

  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.


To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?


To set an attainable goal you must answer the “H” question:

  • How: How can the goal be accomplished?


Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished.

  • Have you ever accomplished something similar?
  • What conditions would have to exist in order for you to accomplish this goal?


To set a timely goal you must answer the sixth “W” question:

  • When: Establish a time frame.

Then set short-term goals to reach that plan.

  • What can I do 6 months from now?
  • What can I do 6 weeks from now?
  • What can I do today?

As an example, this is a goal I set in January:

My next fitness goal is to run the Rock-n-Sole 10k on July 10, 2011.  I will run 3 days per week.  To start, I will run two shorter runs of one mile and one long run of two miles with at least one day of rest between each run.  I will increase my distance by one half mile every two weeks until I am running 3 miles for my short run and 5 miles for my long run.  I will run on the treadmill until April, then I will switch to outdoor running regardless of the weather. 

I would love to hear some of your goals…  If you would like help with goal setting, I would be glad to get SMART with you 🙂

Posted on June 15, 2011, in Ramblings and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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