Be the bright spark and stay SMART when setting yourself goals.

Are you SMART? How to set goals and achieve them


Having a light of the end of the tunnel can often be all the motivation that’s needed when undertaking any task. After all – in the professional environment especially – it’s unlikely that work will be done for the sake of it.

While having an end target is all well and good, actually keeping it achievable is where the real skill lies. Here are some things to keep in mind when setting goals and – more importantly – starting out on the path of achieving them:

Aim high

There’s little point in setting a target that you are absolutely certain is achievable. On the other hand, being too unrealistic can cause stress and a sense of disillusion can set in if that final deadline is too far out of reach.

There’s certainly a balance to be struck here, but it will prove fruitful to err on the side of optimism. Goals should always be something that will be difficult to ultimately achieve, as pushing yourself is only likely to lead to self improvement and better results in the long term.


Finding that balance and keeping things manageable is made a lot easier if you remain SMART. While nothing to do with intelligence, it stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timeframe. These five criteria are the cornerstones of effective goal setting.

Forming a big part of time management training, learning more and being SMART in your expectations can make it easier to get what you want from your personal and professional lives respectively.

Break it down

Like so much of learning, the whole process of meeting targets is easier when broken down into more manageable chunks. While the end goal is one thing, consider what you want to achieve in 24 hour chunks.

By doing this, the final target will seem eminently more achievable, while also making sure you attack every day with a specific purpose in mind.

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