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Goal Setting – SMART Goals


by Khairul Anuar SafiullahCoach | Trainer | Facilitator | Inspiring breakthroughs in individuals, teams and organizations


In the last article, we discussed on goals and some of the reasons why they were not achieved, and peeked into some ideas on how to make these goals clear and achievable. In this article, let’s look into how to actually set goals using SMARTER Goals method and how to make them as clear as possible and easier to work on. With these methods, we may gain clarity and what the goals actually are and focus on what needs to be done.



SMARTER Goals are an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time Bound. How do these characteristics of a goal help in focusing and getting clarity? Here’s how, folks:


Specific: The goal is specific. It is not general in nature. Compare the statements “I want to lose weight” and “I am committed to lose 5kg”, or even to the statement “I am committed to lose 5kg of body fat and maintain current muscle mass of XX kg”. Which statement really defines what you seek?


Measurable: The outcome can be measured. Income in the amount of RM, weight loss in terms of kilos, completing a running event of how many kilometers, etc. I do note that some goals are intangible such as improving relationship with someone. We may assign numerical value to this using a rating, such as from a rating of x/10 to y/10. The key is to have a picture of how that relationship, when rated 10/10 looks like, and do an honest assessment of where you are and where you want to go. Being able to measure the goals also allows us to do progress tracking.


Agreed: The goal must be agreed by you, the individual working on achieving it. If it does not come from you, getting your butt moving to achieve them is highly unlikely. At this point, a deep look at why these goals are important to you is a must. Other questions you should ask should also be:

1. What would I gain if I achieve these goals?

2. What would I lose if I achieve these goals?

3. What would I gain if I did not achieve these goals?

4. What would I lose if I did not achieve these goals?


Realistic: During moments of feeling invincible and motivated to achieve a certain goal, we tend to overestimate ourselves and forget that there are other demands in life that needs to be addressed while we are pursuing our goals. Personally, for me, it was wanting to train and complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon from “couch” fitness level in 6 months while working full time was not realistic. I have now adjusted that goal to a mini event which is more manageable and realistic. I am not saying you should sell yourself short here, but baby steps and an honest look at where you are starting from would be of great benefit.


Time bound: The goal must be achieved within a certain time. This allows us to track progress, have a completion time and allows us to break the big goals into smaller, less daunting goals that is achieved one step at a time. We are also able to do review on what was working, and what was missing at each level to aid us moving forward. Believe you me, these smaller goals make the whole experience less overwhelming.



So, that’s it on SMART Goals. Fairly simple stuff to help make goals clearer, more focused and gives us a platform to track and review. Mind you, these are mechanisms. We’ll address the deeper issues on our being, ownership, commitment and other factors in achieving the goals we set using SMART Goals in the next article. Till then, jumpa lagi!


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