Smart goals – What they are and how to achieve them

Setting and accomplishing smart goals is the key reason why so few people live life to their fullest potential. It has been said that setting big, major, challenging, and worthy goals is worth more than having thousand tiny goals.

What are smart goals?

Basically, smart stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Yes, the word smart contains of 5 characters, but how to those 5 tie into the bigger picture? Let´s have a look behind the meaning of each word, and how it helps you to set really smart goals.

smart goals

Tying smart goals into the bigger picture


You need to be very specific with what it is that you want to attain in your lifetime. Fact is, no matter in which areas of life you want to set smart goals, and of course achieve them, you need to be as specific as possible.

Ask yourself questions like:

What is it that I want to accomplish in my chosen field/profession?

Why do I want to accomplish what I want to accomplish?

What is my personal benefit of achieving my dreams?

With whom do I need to work together so that I can realize my dreams?

Make a list and write down everything you want accomplish, why you want to get it, by when you want to get it, with whom you need to work to get it, etc.


Your smart goals need to be measurable. Period.

You cannot achieve what you cannot measure. This means that you need to have very clear action steps, points, and rules under which you achieve your targets.

Only by measuring your progress you will be in the position to improve upon what you do. Also, measurements help you to figure out where your leaks are, where you need to work harder, what you need to do differently, etc.


Attainable means that you do can achieve your smart goals within a certain period of time. Let me give you an example..

An unattainable goal would be something like: “I´m going to make 5 million dollars in the next 3 months, even though I have no experience nor knowledge or skill in my profession”. This goal is fine, but is really attainable within 3 months if you are entirely new into something? Not really. If you set 5 million dollars as a long term goal, let´s say for the next 5 till 10 years, it´s very attainable, even if you just started off.


Realistic goes hand in hand with attainable. You need to be realistic with what it is that you want, and when you want it to happen.

Unrealistic expectations are one of the major causes of failure. Be honest to yourself, accept where you are in your life right now, and make the effort to set realistic – smart goals.

The only way to get what you want is by constantly applying the steps which lead you towards your target.

Be a realist and optimist at all times!


Timely means that you need to set smart goals that you aim to accomplish within a certain time frame. It´s not enough to say: “I want to have my own diving shop in the future”. It is crucial that you set a date at which you can expect to accomplish the goal.

If you want to lose 40 lbs, make a clear commitment to do it, and set a date by when you can expect to have reached your goal. Maybe you want to lose 40 lbs within the next 5 months, maybe within the next 1 year, or maybe even within the next 2 years.

Your smart goals action steps

Now, you have learned the meaning behind smart goals, but do you also know how to get going?

No matter where you are at in your life right now, you need to be crystal clear about what it is that you want to get into your life.

Don´t let other people tell you that you cannot do something, just because they cannot do it themselves.

Be goal oriented, focused, and DETERMINED and you can shoot for the stars.

The Mind Over Variance Team wishes you best success with accomplishing your smart goals!

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