How can we be S.M.A.R.T.?

Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s always felt to me like a new beginning. It’s the combination of school starting and the long, lazy days of summer are in the rear view mirror.  There is no denying that this year is different with so much uncertainty, especially for our children and schools. Many feel as if they have no control over anything, but I beg to differ.  You may have to approach things differently, but you can still create a road map for your goals.  Years ago, I read an article on creating S.M.A.R.T. goals, and I thought this would be a good time to share how using the S.M.A.R.T. format can help you structure your journey to your goals.

The acronym S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific-Measurable-Attainable-Realistic-Timely. S.M.A.R.T. goals first appeared in an issue of Management Review (vol. 70, issue 11, November 1981) in an article titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives.” By George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham.  Below you’ll find the basic outline for S.M.A.R.T. goals and how they could apply to your goals.

Specific – A specific goal has a much higher chance of being accomplished than a general goal.  To set a specific goal, you must answer five “W” questions.”

Who: Who is involved?

What: What do I want to accomplish?

When: Establish a time frame

Which: Identify requirements and constraints

Why: Specific reasons, purpose, or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

Example: A general goal would be, “I want to trade,”  a specific goal would be “I want to put 3-4 trades on a week for six months to practice my trading”.

Measurable – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.  When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you forward.

Example: What can I afford to put into a trading account? What is my time frame? How many wins do I want to achieve each week?

Attainable – Are you prepared to commit to making the goals you’ve identified happen? If you believe they are attainable, you will begin to figure out ways you can make them come true.  You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them.  You start seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

Example: Plan your steps wisely. Establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.  Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.

Realistic – To be a realistic goal, it must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work.  A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be.  Be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. Setting milestones along the way will help.

Example. To trade here is an example of a couple of milestones 1) create your trade plan 2) attend Core XLT weekly 3) submit your trade for trade review

Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame.  With no time frame tied to it, there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10lbs, when do you want to lose it by?  “Someday” won’t work.  But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal. This is one reason the school year works so well because it facilitates a defined timeframe. It's also OK to adjust your time frame as you learn more about the process of your goals.

Example: Set your timeframe to take Core in the next 15 days, adjust because you were called back to work, so now take it within the next 15 days on demand and 60 days Live-online. 



For educational purposes only. Trading is risky and you can lose money