I Want to Set SMART Goals

A SMART goal isn’t just an intelligent goal. It’s a goal with a specific structure that gives you a roadmap for achieving it. A SMART goal has five parts, which are represented by the letters making up the word.

S - Specific

M - Measurable

A - Achievable or Attainable

R - Relevant

T - Time-Bound or Time-Based

Maybe your general goal is to meet more Americans. It’s a great goal but it doesn’t lay out any details on how you’re going to achieve it. When you apply the SMART goal technique, you make an action plan. Go through each of the letters to plan your SMART goal.



Be an investigative journalist and ask all the WH questions when you develop the goal: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Who do you want to meet? When and where do you think you can meet them? How will you meet them?



Quantify or describe what you will do or what the result will be, so you know if you succeeded. For example, a measurable goal is to make two new American friends per month. 



Plan for the time and resources you need and make sure you can realistically do what you’re planning. Don’t set an unrealistic goal that you have no chance or way of achieving. While it might be great to make 20 new friends this week, it’s may not be achievable. It could be depressing to fail to meet a goal. You need to know where you have a chance of meeting the new friends.



Make sure the goal will apply. Be sure that you put effort into a goal that will help you. For example, if you’re about to move to a different city, don’t work to make a lot of new local friends. Save your efforts for the new city.



Plan a realistic timeframe, with a deadline, to create some urgency. Don’t waste time with unachievable goals, but instead give yourself the chance to accomplish your aims. You know yourself. Do you need the excitement that comes with meeting a short deadline? Or are you better with plenty of time and maybe some intermediate goals or check-ins? Don’t just let the goal sit forever. It will just collect dust. 


When you create a SMART goal, you will have a plan and you will know if you achieved it. 


Broad Goal: I want to meet more Americans.


SMART Goal: I will participate in scheduled events at my child’s school and meet two new people each month by introducing myself and chatting. To further the friendship, I will plan casual outings with the kids. 


Good luck!

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