How to Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals

“It’s your Passion that drives your purpose to achieve your goals”

-Vinh Van Lam

There are some basic principles of goal setting:

1. It’s critical you own your goals and ensure they have real and genuine meaning for you.

2. It’s critical your goals written down and put on paper. Think about how you can make them visible so you can see them every day.

3. Write your goals in the present tense as if you’ve already attained them.

4. Use positive language. Frame things in ways like… “I am…” I do…” rather than “I don’t…” or “I won’t…”

5. It’s important that your goal is S.M.A.R.T

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Realistic

  • Timely

Specific: A specific goal has a much better chance of being achieved than a non specific goal. To set a specific goal you must answer these FIVE questions:

  • Who – Who is involved?

  • What – What do you want to achieved ?

  • Where – Identify a location.

  • When – Set milestones by establishing time frames.

  • Why – The real purpose to why you want to accomplish the goal.

EXAMPLE:  A non specific goal would be, “reducing weight.” But a clear & specific goal would be, “going to the gym, hire a fitness instructor and workout 3 days a week to lose X kilograms in X weeks so that I can fit into my favourite pair of jeans.”

Measurable – It’s critical your goals are measurable and you have established clear milestones for their achievement. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your set dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement motivates you to continue your efforts to achieve your goals.

To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much?

  • How many?

  • How will I know when I have accomplished my goal?

Attainable – When you identify the goals most important to you, you start to find out ways to make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and the mindset capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

You can attain most of your goals when you plan the action steps in a sequential order and set a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach in the past eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand. When you list your goals with a positive mindset, you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic- A goal 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. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.

A high goal can be easier to reach than a low one as a low goal brings low motivational force because it has no real value or purpose. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seemed easy simply because they were a labor of love. When you are passionate everything you do will be empowering. Your goal is realistic if you truly believe that it can be achieved. Another ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past.

Timely – Always set goals with a time frame. If no time frame attached to it there’s no sense of importance.  For example let say  you want to lose 10 kilos, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you agree within a timeframe, “by April 30th”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to start working on the goal.

6. It is a good idea to identify and differentiate your Short, Middle, and Long term goals.

  • STG: Goals that are reachable in a short time in a day, week, or within month

  • MTG: Goals that fall in the middle like 6 to 12 months

  • LTG: Goals that you have no clue about how to get there and they will challenge you. You also feel the fear because they are out of your comfort zone

7. If the goal is too big, break down the activities and tasks into small bite size pieces. Small bite size pieces are more achievable steps.

8.  Delegate or appoint yourself or someone else to do the task. You don’t have to work alone. Ask for help.

9. Validate your tasks and make sure the task is actioned at a specific time frame. e.g. by Wed 15 April.

10. Review your goals regularly and record your experiences.

At ArtSHINE we’ve been working with clients on what we call the OPIC planner system:

OPIC stands for:





To learn more about OPIC goal planner please stay tuned for next week post.

Want to learn more about how to set purpose goals for 2014?

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Contact Vinh direct: , +61 410 636 138

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Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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