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Last week we talked about what a SMART goal is. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. It’s a method of creating personal goals that can be more achievable than just setting a New Year’s resolution. If you missed last week and want to read about SMART goals first, head over here then come back. Ready to dive in and develop a SMART goal?

Ready to Develop a SMART Goal?

The first step in defining a SMART goal is for the goal to be specific. A goal shouldn’t be so broad that you can’t define the action needed. A couple of examples of specific steps to take for a goal could be “Make one phone call per week to a relationship in need this year.”. Too broad of a goal may read “Work on unhealthy relationships.”.  Another specific example could be “Complete writing one chapter per week in my writing this year.”.  Again, too broad of a goal could say “Write a book.”. What specific step toward your goal can you identify as SMART?

Let’s follow through with the relationship goal above and ask the necessary questions to ensure it is SMART. The goal does meet the SMART criteria listed below.

  • Making a call per week is specific
  • One time per week is measurable
  • A phone call per week is attainable
  • Schedule time for one call is realistic
  • One time a week for a year is measurable

SMART goals can be used to step by step make changes in your life to improve, increase, reduce or develop something within you or your life. Developing a SMART goal can help to decrease the feelings of being overwhelmed and help you accomplish goals effectively.

What Goal Should I Choose?

Consider your work, life, relationships and dreams. All of the areas that you hold responsibility for. Can you identify an area that stands out as needing the most help? Start with just one goal. Is there an area where it would help for you to develop a smart goal? It may be helpful for your first goal to be attainable in a week or a month, especially if developing SMART goals is new to you. Try not to get bogged down in the tasks of the goals, but instead, the end result you desire.

Once you have decided on the SMART goal you desire, some reflection may be needed. For example, if you struggle with discipline, you may want to share your goal with someone who can help you be accountable. Place the individual steps on your calendar to ensure your success with carrying them through.

Can you identify the individual pieces to your SMART goal?

  • Does it name the who, what, where, when and why
  • Have you defined a time frame for completion and intervals
  • Do you have the resources needed to attain your goal
  • Have you set a realistic goal
  • Is the time frame stated and measurable


This week we discussed how to develop a SMART goal. Next week we will talk about tips to measure your progress. If setting goals and keeping them present stress for you, we are here to help. Does life sometimes overwhelm you and you don’t know where to start? Upstate Restorative Counseling can help.

Upstate Restorative Counseling provides other services that can help you! We provide assistance with counseling in TraumaAnxietyDepressionNavigating Life TransitionsResolving Relationship Issues, and Online Therapy. When you are ready, our team is here to support you.

Would you like to read more on this topic? Check out this blog post for ideas to help with embracing habits.