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5 Dos and Don’ts When Making a SMART Goal

With the help of the Dos and Don’ts of SMART goals, we may focus our attention, effort, and time on tasks that are truly important to an individual, an organization, or both. 

When we are clear about our priorities, we tend to devote more time to creating a strategy to help us reach our objectives, boosting motivation and productivity. 

SMART objectives are also the first stage in evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy that effectively treats conditions including anxiety, PTSD, OCD, sadness, and grief, among others.

A SMART framework is useful for formulating more precise and realistic goals. Additionally, it gives you benchmarks to compare your work against; if you have a larger, more difficult objective, taking little steps might help you stay motivated.

What are SMART Goals?

The words “specific,” “measurable,” “attainable,” “relevant,” and “time-bound” are all abbreviated as “SMART.” As the name implies, this goal-setting strategy is clever! Why? 

When used correctly, SMART objectives help you or your team define clear intentions, create benchmarks to evaluate progress, and eliminate useless tasks that are no longer useful. ‍

 We all want to be more successful in life, but it’s often hard to know where to start. In order for us to make progress, we must have goals. SMART Goals are a way that we can set ourselves up for success by using the Dos and Don’ts of SMART goal making. By following the Dos and Don’ts of SMART goal making, you will be able to focus on tasks that are truly important in your business or life.

For example, a SMART goal could be to improve the quality of customer service within your organization and achieve at least 80% customer satisfaction. To do so, create an action-oriented SMART goal by using the Dos and Don’ts of SMART goals in the next section.

To set SMART goals, your goals need to be:

  • Specific:

What has to be done precisely? It’s too ambiguous to say you “want to earn more.” Instead, decide on a certain amount that you want to make.

  • Measurable:

You must monitor your development while creating SMART goals. You cannot declare you have objectively achieved a goal if it is not measurable. It enables you to track your growth.

  • Attainable: 

Setting a challenging and attainable target is an “achievable goal.”

  • Relevant: 

You should be brave because extraordinary ambitions lead to amazing outcomes. However, you need also make sure that your objective is reasonable if you want to develop SMART goals that work. 

Realistic objectives are ones you are prepared and able to strive for and may be met by enhancing your present routines.

  • Time-bound:

Setting a specific deadline for achieving your objective is the fourth and final SMART goal-defining guideline. Set aside enough time for yourself to complete your task. Having a defined period is crucial for tracking your progress toward your objective.

These five elements should be present in every SMART goal to ensure they are realistic, measurable, and beneficial. 

Why are smart goals important?

According to research, 20 percent of small firms fail in their first year, 30 percent fail in their second year, and 60 percent fail in their fifth year, in addition to the 98 percent of entrepreneurs who never succeed. 

An astounding 70% of small businesses shut their doors before they reach their tenth year. Businesses fail for various reasons, from ignoring the value of ongoing innovation to refusing to adopt the growth mentality required to persevere through challenging times. 

The fact remains that these businesses failed to achieve their objectives, most likely due to issues with the objectives themselves. Businesses that failed did not have SMART objectives, which would have assisted success.

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SMART objectives are frequently employed in business because of their success. Still, you can also use them in your personal life to achieve goals like building satisfying relationships or learning a new skill. 

This approach spares you the lost time of not understanding what you want or how to acquire it, regardless of what part of your life you wish to better. 

When you know your purpose, you may “ladder up” to the greater goals you established by setting SMART goals. SMART objectives are all about living with intention and with purpose.

 Businesses fail for many reasons, but one underlying issue is often the lack of smart goals in place. A SMART objective is a goal that you achieve by setting specific and measurable action steps towards achieving it. Smart goals are simple yet critical to your business’s success – it’s not unusual for them to be among the first things created when starting a business.

5 Dos and Don’ts when making SMART goals:

  • To be accurate… Observe all “small details:

Make sure your SMART objectives are “precise” when you set them. For example, you and your team may prevent uncertainty about what needs to be done, who has to do it, and how often to use a specific language.

  • Offer KPIs, but don’t offer KPIs that have nothing to do with your goal:

Making your intention quantifiable is the next stage once you’ve established a clear goal. How else can you demonstrate your worthiness for a raise and gauge your success? 

Establishing relevant and practical data sources and results is critical to making it simpler to analyze and quantify performance.

  • Make sure your KPIs are fair; avoid setting them too high or too low:

Every goal is reachable with enough time and effort, but you should be sure to have reasonable expectations given your time and resources. 

It will take some time to analyze your data, consider the time restrictions associated with other objectives and duties, etc., to fully develop your SMART goals. 

Setting a random KPI for a 50% growth in sales leads by the end of Q1 when you only hit 28% by Q3 of the previous year is something you should avoid doing.

  • Don’t set yourself up for a “who cares?” attitude by making your ambitions important to everyone or “no way”:

SMART objectives should complement and fit with overall company and individual goals, including those linked to professional development and progress. 

Ask where you can locate your company’s yearly goals if you are unsure what they are; these are often created by the founders, CEOs, and other C-Suite executives.

  • Make deadlines… avoid being ambiguous or unrealistic:

The “T” in SMART stands for time-bound, and that’s it. There is no getting past the fact that deadlines are vital. A goal, particularly a SMART goal, is incomplete without deadlines. 

Setting milestones and creating the actions you need to follow to reach your objective are required. Try to avoid exhausting yourself by establishing targets that can only be met by working extra hours every day of the week.

Most importantly, don’t forget to rejoice when you meet critical deadlines! Setting deadlines helps you stay motivated and engaged by allowing you to look back and appreciate all your effort while working toward a long-term goal.


In addition to advancing your career and position within a firm, SMART objectives have enhanced general welfare at work and home. We assure you it will be worth your effort even if it takes longer to grow.

The DECISION 168 team is on a mission to Empower Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs, and Individuals. Through the relationships and experience of our network, we will make a difference together.

Our goal is to help people across the world perform and function at their highest levels and utilize their unique talents, so that they may make an impact within their communities and beyond.

It is a good idea to start with what you want to accomplish and then translate it into a specific SMART objective, creating goals for personal success or reaching significant marketing milestones.

About shehraz

Hey, I am a research-based contributor, providing content specifically in Digital Marketing, Medical Education, & Business.

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