Setting Goals You Can Achieve

Several people have been attributed with saying, “A goal without a deadline is just a dream.” Does this ring true in your life? A deadline is only one aspect of goal setting though. You also need to consider what you’re trying to carry out, how you’re going to do it, and how will you know when you’ve succeeded.


Goal setting is more than just making a declaration or wishing to do something. Goals have not only desire but a true intent to do it. You’ve heard the saying, “Plan your work and you’ll work your plan.” Goals work under that same thought.

The problem with goals is that people often clear direction in  developing a goal.

Below I’m going to walk you through how to create a SMART goal. Even if you’re familiar with SMART goals, it won’t hurt to refresh your memory.

Specific: When you set a goal, make sure you are specific. Who is part of the goal? Where does the goal have to occur? Why are you setting this goal? What is the goal? Define your goal with as many specifics you can. Pass your goal to a friend and ask them what’s missing and then answer those questions about it to. Leave nothing about your goal to question.

Measurable: A goal must have clear benchmarks to measure success. What is going to let you know you’re making progress? How do you know when you’ve accomplished the goal? Do you need supplies, skills, or funds for your goal? Goal setting often involves accountability, even if just to yourself. Without measurable you won’t have accountability. Know what you need to know success

Action-Oriented: What are the steps you must take to meet your goal? Verbs are an important part of goal setting. Knowing what you want to do doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know what you have to do to get there.

Realistic: Can you actually do your goal? Are your specifics reasonable? Does your current context give you what you need to pursue the goal? Are you using emotions to set your goal, or are you considering the facts? Give a sober look at the specifics, measurables, actions you have to take, and the timeline you are giving to decide if it is realistic. Remember too that realistic doesn’t have to mean without a challenge. Sometimes putting yourself under a little pressure helps you move forward.

Time-Bound: All goals need a deadline. You may even need to set deadlines for benchmarks toward your goal. When I was writing Faith Acts, Dillon and I gave ourselves deadlines to finish the first draft, send our parts to each other for review and then send them back. The publisher gave us three months to finish the book, and we turned in the manuscript before our deadline because we set smaller deadlines that got us to our goal.

Question: What do you do to set goals? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

*Some versions of the SMART acronym are different. You may come across the M as measurable or meaningful; A may be action-oriented, achievable, agreeable, or attainable: R may represent realistic, relevant, or recorded.

I am an author, speaker, and leader with a passion for developing people into practical leaders who put their principles into practice. I am the co-author of the acclaimed book Faith Acts with best-selling author Dillon Burroughs, the Chief Operations Officer at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, and an independent leadership consultant to up and coming leaders and start up nonprofit organizations. My greatest joy, however, is serving Christ and his Church. I am the proud husband of Shay and father of two great boys. We live in Chattanooga, TN. #NoogaStrong

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or downright annoying.

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