A new year often means … a barrel filled with good intentions. Yet you soon revert to old habits and these good intentions eventually fall through. The SMART method offers a solution. This simple format ensures that you define realistic objectives efficiently.

Targets you actually reach. From dream to realization, it’s possible.

What does SMART mean?

SMART is a concept devised by Peter Drucker, an American professor who wrote more than 27 books about economy, management and business organisations. After a lot of research he decided that clear and feasible objectives meet five requirements:

  • Specific – Is your objective formulated clearly and simply?
  • Measureable – When is your objective reached and how do you measure progress?
  • Achievable – Are these objectives acceptable and feasible for yourself and your colleagues?
  • Relevant – Does it match with other objectives? And are you motivated to go for it?
  • Time-bound – When do you want to reach your goal?

How to start with SMART

1. Specific

Your goal must be clear and specific; otherwise you lose concentration and the motivation to get to the finish line. This is why you should answer the five Ws:

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • Why is this so important to me?
  • Who is joining in?
  • Where will I work on these objectives?
  • Which strengths or limitations must I take into account?

2. Measurable

It’s important to set measurable objectives, as this will help you notice progress and not discourage you. Examples of measurable objectives are:

  • 30 mins. exercise twice a week (frequency)
  • 5 km walk or run (distance)
  • Losing 10 kg (number)

3. Achievable

Feasibility and realism are crucial for success. In other words: dare to push yourself out of your comfort zone but don’t go too far. An achievable goal teaches you about your strengths and opportunities. An achievable and realistic goal gives clear answers to questions like:

  • How do I reach this goal?
  • How realistic is the goal, taking account of financial, physical or mental limitations?

4. Relevant

An objective that doesn’t fit the bigger picture of your company or one you personally don’t find important is a guarantee for failure. So choose relevant plans with a positive effect on everyone around you, but for which you are still responsible. In addition, focus on the group feeling: everyone benefits from help and support. The questions below help you with this:

  • Is this objective worthwhile?
  • Is this the right moment?
  • Does it match my other objectives or needs?
  • Am I the right person to reach this objective?
  • Is it applicable in the current socioeconomic environment?

5. Time-bound

Finally, choose a deadline for each objective. This ensures that everyday tasks don’t get priority over long-term goals. Furthermore, a concrete deadline often gives you that little bit of extra motivation and ensures that the last mile isn’t the longest one. Take account of the following criteria:

  • When do I want to achieve this objective?
  • What can I do in six months?
  • What can I do in six weeks?
  • What can I already do today?

To reach your objectives, it’s best to start with a solid plan. Plus, every training course needs a good beginning.

A proper warmup is crucial. It protects you against a variety of injuries by…

– preparing yourself for your training mentally

– improving blood circulation and the intake of oxygen

– increasing muscle temperature and metabolism

– lubricating your joints for better coordination