Forget SMART Goal, Set SMARTER Goals Instead

by Positive Hustle

I know, you have heard about the SMART goal system, but have you heard about the SMARTER goal system? It is the improved version of the previous one. And in my opinion, SMARTER goals setting is a more powerful method to craft empowering goals that get you going.

I first learn about SMARTER goal setting from New York Times best-selling author, Michael Hyatt.

Hyatt shared this strategy in his book, Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals, which by the way, is a great book I strongly recommend you read.

So, what is SMARTER goal setting?

Basically, it is almost the same as the SMART goal setting, but with a ‘little tweak’ to it. The SMARTER goal approach has included 2 additional key attributes to the goals that you set.

This is how you do it…

1. S – Specific

As you might already know, S in the SMARTER goal system stands for specific.

Yes, you want to be specific with your goals. You don’t want to be vague.

When you give a vague order to your mind, you can’t execute it because your mind doesn’t know exactly what results you’re looking to achieve.

For example, “to learn photography” is a vague goal. Instead of setting your goal to learn photography, state it in a more specific manner, such as “to finish ABC’s photography course.”

Now, that is more specific, isn’t it?

The more specific you are, the easier it is you can come out with a plan to execute the goal.

When your goal is vague, it is difficult to formulate a plan to get there.

Just like if you say that your goal is to “get rich” or “to earn more money”, that’s vague. Your mind doesn’t know what it needs to do to get there.

Hence, be specific.

Don’t just say that you want to become financially free, make the goal more specific, like saying you want to save or earn X amount of money from stocks investment or property investment.

The more specific you are, the easier your mind can formulate a plan and work on the plan to get you to the goal.

Read: Specific Goal Setting: How to Set Crystal Clear Goals

2. M – Measurable

Make your goals measurable. You cannot achieve something you can’t measure.

Take losing weight as an example. How do you know if you have achieved your goal? You can’t unless you know what your weight is before and after.

This is why you need to make your goals measurable. Make it quantifiable. Include a number to your goals so that you can measure and track them.

Don’t say that your goal is to invest in the stock market. Make it measurable. How much money do you want to put into your investment portfolio? How much do you want to invest by the end of the year?

That’s being measurable.

Another key reason to make your goals measurable is so that you are able to improve your progress.

If you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it.
The only way you can tell if something is working is to have a measurement system.

When you know what you did is working and is moving you forward to your goals, you can do more of it.

On the contrary, when something is not working, you can then change your strategy or improve it.
And you can only tell if things are working by measuring your results and tracking your progress.

Read: How to Measure Your Progress to Effectively Achieve Your Goals

3. A – Actionable

The third attribute of a SMARTER goal is actionable.

I believe you have heard about this over and over again, you have to make your goals actionable. This is where most people set the wrong goals and fail to create the results they want.

Setting a goal like “to be happy” or “to make more money” doesn’t help. They are vague and they are NOT actionable.

Actionable goals are something you ACT on – something you can DO to get it done.

For instance, don’t set a goal like “to build a profitable blog”, instead, make it actionable. Your goal can be like “write and publish 1,000 words articles every Monday and Thursday.”

Building a profitable blog isn’t actionable. It is not something you can act on. But writing and publishing articles are.

And when you focus on writing and publishing good quality content on your blog, eventually, you will have built a profitable blog.

Can you relate to that now?

When your goals are actionable, your mind knows what it needs to do.

This is how you set yourself up to win.

Below are two resources to help you in this:

4. R – Risky

Yes, your goals need to be a little risky. If your goals are not something risky, or if they are something easy to do, you’ll never feel the motivation.

Just like how the Goldilocks’ Rule works, when something is too easy, you don’t feel motivated to do it. And when something is too difficult to do, you feel uncomfortable and you don’t want to do it.

And the solution is to make the difficulty level just nice.

This is why your goals need to be risky. Here’s a perfect quote to explain this attribute:

“Great things never come from your comfort zones.”

The thing is that if you keep doing the same regular things that you feel comfortable with, you will be always getting the same old results.
If you want to change, you need to do something difficult, something uncomfortable, and something a little risky to challenge you.

Remember, your goals are meant to push you and challenge you.

So, if you set goals that are within your comfort zone, then it is not going to help you grow.

Here are 2 guides that are helpful to you:

5. T – Time-keyed

Again, you have heard this a gazillion times. Your goals need to have a deadline. Without having a time frame for when you want your goals to happen, you will take forever to achieve them.

In my guide, Why Deadlines for Your Goals Are Important, I explained how having a deadline for your goal gives you a sense of urgency. You should read it.

Not only that, with the right timeline, you can better plan and schedule your action steps accordingly.

For example, if you set a goal to earn $100,000 within 12 months from your business, it gives you a concrete idea of what kind of action steps you need to take to get there.

After all, the strategy to earning $100,000 in 12 months and the strategy to earning $100,000 in 3 months is very much different.

In other words, the time frame for your goals will determine your strategy and the action steps you are going to take.

Losing 5 pounds in 1 month and losing 5 pounds in 10 months requires a different strategy and action plan.

This is why it is important to identify the deadline for your goals.

Ask yourself, when you want your goal to happen?

6. E – Exciting

The older version of SMART goal setting doesn’t come with this attribute. Your goals need to be exciting for you.

Your goals must be something that you are looking forward to achieving.

If your goals are not exciting to you, guess what will happen? You will only work on them and pursue them when you’re feeling like it.

And when you don’t feel like it, you will never want to work on them.

If your goals are not exciting, so why bother pursuing them and working on them in the first place, right?

This is why a lot of people procrastinate on their goals and they choose to do something else that is more comfortable and exciting rather than working on their goals.

Make your goals exciting. Make them something you want to achieve right now.

Set goals that you look forward to achieving so that you wake up each morning with energy and motivation.

Successful people are able to maintain their motivation and momentum day-in and day-out because their goals are exciting to them.
Elon Musk is working on getting people to Mars. It is a mission so audacious that attracts like-minded people to want to work with SpaceX.

When your goals are big, audacious, and exciting, people will be attracted to them and they will want to work with you to help you achieve them.

Thus, ask yourself this simple question:

“Are your goals big enough that they excite you and you can’t wait to jump out of bed each morning to work on them?”

If you do, congratulations, you have set an empowering goal that inspires and motivates you every day.

Read: 7 Factors How to Set Exciting Goals that Drive You Every Day

7. R – Relevant

The final attribute for SMARTER goal setting is relevant.

This is where you want to make your goals connect with your purpose. You want to make them relevant to you and your life.

You see, when you set a goal that isn’t relevant or isn’t something that you truly wanted, you will never have the inner drive to achieve it.

When I was in university, I chose to study civil engineering because my dad was a contractor and he worked in the construction industry. Hence, this influenced me to want to become an engineer.

But truth to be told, I don’t want to be an engineer. My passion is with internet marketing. I love business and I can talk about entrepreneurship all day.

As a result, the goal of getting good grades in university isn’t relevant to me. I don’t want to achieve the goal because it isn’t something that I want for myself.

In the working world, many people hate their jobs. They don’t like what they do. They want to leave their office early and go to the office late because they don’t enjoy what they do. Their work isn’t something they want.

For most people, they work because of the salary. They want to survive, pay bills, and put food on the table.

Hence, they feel like they have been forced to work. This is why most people don’t want to improve themselves in their careers and their workplace. It is irrelevant to them.

If you want your goals to be empowering, inspirational, and life-changing, you must make them relevant to you.

Make sure the goals you set are what you truly want out of your life.

Here are 3 articles to help you find out your purpose and what you truly want to achieve in your life:

Why Clarity of Purpose is Important to Success and How to Get It

The Power of Having a Purpose Driven Mission

How to Find Your Purpose in Life


By now, you should know how to set SMARTER goals. Here are the 7 key attributes again:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Actionable
R – Risky
T – Time-keyed
E – Exciting
R – Relevant

When your goals follow these 7 key characteristics, you are making your goals empowering and motivational.

And if you want to learn more about setting goals and taking your success in life to the next level, check out my Goal Setting Formula Masterclass.

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