How to Set SMART Goals in the New Year You’ll Actually Achieve

December 20, 2018

The new year is fast approaching, and with it comes a time to plan ahead for what you’d like your 2019 to look like. When you set SMART goals, you’re actually far more likely to see your goals through to the end. Oftentimes, goal setting comes with frustrations not long after the first part of the year passes by because we’ve established a long list of things to check off but haven’t been able to accomplish them all like we ambitiously thought we would when we set our goals in the first place.

When You Set SMART Goals, You Create Actionable Steps You Can Achieve

SMART goals allow you to truly clarify what it is you’re trying to achieve. They don’t just list the overall end-game you’re looking to reach, but instead include every piece of the puzzle leading up to the finish. This helps you to better define what it is you’re wanting and helps you break it down into actionable steps to get you to your goal.

When setting SMART goals, it’s important to keep in mind each of the following in order to be successful in achieving your goals in the upcoming year:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time Bound

1. Set SPECIFIC Goals

Make sure each goal you set is crystal clear, and list out all the smaller tasks needed to reach that goal. Think of it as a triangle of blocks. The top block is your main goal, but you need all the blocks underneath it stacked together to get to the top. Break your main goal down into specific, manageable blocks that, when all the pieces are put together, allow you to achieve your main goal.


Keeping your SMART goals measurable is necessary to establish an ongoing status of where you are in relation to achieving your goals. Put numbers to your goals. For example: if you’re setting goals in the area of finishing a project, set a certain number of tasks you want to accomplish each week on your way to completion. If your goal is centered around weight, list out how many fruits or veggies you want to incorporate into your meals each day. Whatever your goals, make sure you have measurable tasks along the way.


This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to recognize if a goal you’re setting (or any smaller piece of that triangle of blocks) is not going to actually be attainable. If one of your smaller tasks isn’t attainable, the overall goal won’t be. Thoroughly examine each of the pieces of your goals to ensure attainability and success.

4. Set RELEVANT Goals

When you set SMART goals, always keep an eye on the direction you envision your life going. Goals that don’t allow for growth or have you focusing your attention in multiple directions often will leave you feeling unsuccessful and stagnant. Make sure your goals involve propelling you in the direction you’re looking for.

5. Set TIME-BOUND Goals

For each of your smaller tasks, set dates for when you want to have those completed. Part of the problem in not achieving the goals you set each year often lies in having one overall goal with one overall deadline, but not a visual representation of all the pieces and the time involved needed to complete them. It’s then that goals become overwhelming and seemingly unattainable. By setting SMART goals and keeping each smaller task on a deadline, you’ll be able to actively and comfortably work towards your ultimate goal.

Set SMART goals for this upcoming year, and watch how easily achieving your goals can become! During this season of goal-setting, if you’re looking to set goals in any of these areas, check out the following blogs for helpful tips and information that will get you started moving forward: