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  • Writer's pictureKyndra Luce


Here is one way you can think about GOALS.

The acronym S.M.A.R.T helps to create an easy rememberable way to think objectively about the goals we develop in life and the steps it will take to get there.

The S. in S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific.

A goal that is general and loose is hard to measure, while a specific goal is easy to measure and creates more straightforward guidelines to follow.

A way to help you create a specific goal is to think of the 6 W’s in relation to your goal.

These 6 W’s are:

What: What is it that you want to accomplish?

Who: Who all needs to be involved?

Where: Where will this take place?

When: When can this be done?

Which: Which requirements will need to be met?

Why: Why is this a goal of yours? Dive deep into purpose.

What would this mean for you to accomplish this goal?

This S (specific) in S.M.A.R.T goals gives space for reflection on what this goal means to you and the many aspects of what that goal represents.

It is an essential and necessary starting point.

The next crucial facet to your goal development is the M. in S.M.A.R.T goals.

The M. represents Measurable.

This is important to keep the goal close to home vs. an “I’ll get to it eventually” or “in the future” mentality.

In order to keep a goal in the forefront of our minds, we need to create a system to revisit and reassess our process toward this goal.

A way to do this would be to break the goal into smaller measurable pieces that build on each other and then actively reassess.

At times this means adjusting either the criteria to measure the goal or the goal itself to align with reality.

Doing this creates space for the attainment process to occur in “real-time” and prevents the act of procrastination or lack of action.

The next consideration in a S.M.A.R.T goal framework is “Is this goal attainable?”

The A. represents creating realistic goals that can be Achieved.

This requires an honest evaluation of resources, expectations, and reality.

This is also an excellent time to think about the things that are within your control vs. outside of your control.

Things that are within your control are things that are within your sphere of influence.

A way to think about it is, “I can’t control what happens, but I can control how I respond to it.”

A question you can pose is, “What are the things within yourself you can work on developing or hone in on that would make this goal possible?"

Are there personality traits, habits, attitudes, skills, and abilities that would take conscious effort to embody in order to attain your goal?

What means and methods within your control will create the environment for the goal to exist and be possible?

Next, we will talk about the concept of Relativity.

Relative represents the R. in S.M.A.R.T goals.

Something to consider within the framework of our goals and the broken down steps and pieces needed to achieve this overarching goal is whether or not these pieces are relative and necessary.

Sometimes, we take unnecessary steps or work on something that doesn’t necessarily get us closer to the goal or “move the needle,” so to say.

When reflecting on your previous steps to plan for the future, it is important to pose the question, “Is this step in the process relative to my goal? If not, what new direction or pivot can I take to align back to my goal?

This helps to give an honest assessment of where you are at and look at things from a new perspective with an aim towards a “whole picture” viewpoint.

The last consideration within this framework is time-bound.

The T. in S.M.A.R.T goals represents Timely.

Within goal setting, if you don’t have a clear time frame, it can be difficult to measure progress.

With this being said, I challenge you to show yourself love and kindness during your evaluation process.

These values of love and kindness are core values of ours here at camp, and we believe they are important to embody within relationships with others, the world, and most importantly ourselves.

These values can directly apply to the relationship we have with goal setting.

If you don’t make your self-imposed deadline, that is okay.

Instead of shaming yourself, you could take an honest assessment of the situation and reassess your goal or the process in which you reach it.

This is also a chance to reflect and think about your resources and to seek new perspectives and techniques to achieve your goal.

What are some of your personal S.M.A.R.T. goals, and what does the process look like to achieve them?

If you found this blog post helpful, please Join us in our next GOALS (Girl’s Outdoor Adventure & Leadership (GOAL) program:


Citation: Doran, G. T. (1981). There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write managements’ goals and objectives. Management Review, 70, 35–36. Dörnyei, Z. (2001).

SMART goals concept coined by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunnington in their Article titled”There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives” written in 1981. “There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives”

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