In my earlier post, I have written about the importance of setting goals. However simply writing goals will not help if goals are not SMART.

Goals that are not smart are more or less like dreams or desires, not goals. Goals essentially need to be SMART for them to get converted into reality.

Let’s try to understand what SMART means along with an example. Years ago, I was conducting a session on goal setting and I casually asked a participant about any of his personal goals. He thought for a while and said that one of his personal goal was to buy a house. After he shared that, he looked at me, and observing the expression on my face, asked me why I wasn’t happy with his response.

Then I told him that his goal was very vaguely defined and that he should make it SMART. Then I went on to explain how he could make it SMART.

SMART stands for

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant

T = Time bound

Then I started helping him to make his goal smart.

I asked him what SPECIFIC type of house he wanted.. Dis he want an Apartment, a Row house, a Bungalow? Was it supposed to be a One Bedroom Apartment, a Two Bedroom apartment or a Studio apartment. If a Bungalow, would it be a single type or a duplex. He told me that he wanted a 2 Bedroom Hall Kitchen apartment.

Then I asked him to make his goal measurable. I asked him what should be the area of his 2BHK flat. Would it be 800 Sq ft, 1000 Sq ft or 1200 Sq ft. He said approx 1000.. Then I asked him which floor (since floor rise affects the rate. How far from the nearest railway station etc. Since that would also affect the price. Basically we were making it measurable.

Then I asked him to check if this goal was Attainable based on his current source of income, ability to get a loan, current cash at hand etc..

I also asked him to check if this goal was relevant to his life considering his job, future plans, suitability for the next 10-20 years etc. (I know one person who put in his entire investment in buying a flat that he has never lived in since his job would get him transferred to different places. In addition, property prices didn’t rise as expected so his investment did not increase in value as compared to what it would be have if it was still invested in mutual funds or shares.)

Finally I asked him to make it time bound. When did he actually want possession of the flat. I asked him to put a Year, Month and date to it.

Finally I asked him to read out his goal statement and check if it was SMART now after all the additions.

As mentioned earlier, goals that are not smart are like dreams.

So, if you haven’t written your goals in this format, it’s never too late to make your goals SMART. Good luck!!

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