Tarletta Williams

Getting Specific with SMART Goals


If you clicked this link, odds are you’ve heard a thing or two about SMART goals. When using this world-renowned methodology your goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relative, and Time-bound.

They’re not incredibly difficult to do, but if they aren’t structured properly, you can set yourself up for stress, extreme discomfort and ultimate failure.

In this article I’m going to break down the keys to specificity for making sure your SMART goals actually become part of your reality. 

Let’s get started.

“In life, there are very few elevators. The only way to the top, is climbing upwards – one step at time.”

Break It Down

So often, clients have a hard time finding a way to tie all 5 parts of their SMART goal together.

The problem with this, is that instead of being able to focus on one unified achievement, they’re wracking their brain to get all five pieces right.

One of the best things you can do for yourself, when setting SMART goals, is to define one outcome to focus on that will be achieved by the success of your goal and work on that. Shift your focus.

When you are able to break your goal down into small specific tangible shifts or outcomes, they become more apparent in their development. This helps you stay motivated as you continue to build the other categories.

The key is to identify how specific your goal needs to be in order for you to be successful. In The Key to Consistency we get into more detail.

Shacks and Skyscrapers

We all like to believe that we are doing grand and spectacular things. That when we achieve this mighty beast of a thing, we’ll be more awesome for it.

Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a gap between where we are and the shiny penthouse.

When you’re setting your goals, it’s important to remember that small things add up, and so does your ability to be awesome.

When you set skyscraper goals, you tend to overlook all of the different offices, hallways, and staircases that also have to be developed. This makes for a hard walk up to the top.

In life, there are very few elevators. 


When it comes to measuring your ability to create and do something, like scale a skyscraper, your brain goes to work figuring out all the things it needs to do to make it happen. That’s a lot of work before you even get started.

This is usually when that feeling of overwhelm kicks in.

Here’s how to give your brain a break.

  1. Break your goal down into pieces of steps. 
  2. Identify the lifestyle changes you expect this goal to create. These are your anchors.
  3. Set a new intention for the anchors you just created to monitor your journey.
  4. Read The Key to Consistency post. It’ll clear a few things up.


Here’s an example:

Let’s say your goal is to eat healthier this year – but you’re 28 and starting off with the diet of a five year old. I’m talking cereal and oatmeal creme pies with maybe, just maybe, one real meal during the week that doesn’t get passed through a window.

Going from a snack lifestyle to eating three squares a day is no easy feat. You’ve got to consider the time to buy real groceries, prepare, cook, and eat those meals. 

That’s a lot.  

So, here’s what this article is suggesting.

Although your goal is to eat healthier on a regular basis, it now has a few hurdles and milestones: learning what food to buy, how to cook it, and how to make time to do it all. Start with these. 

Maybe you buy a cookbook, or more likely search Google for a free one on healthy eating, and start one meal at a time.

If you’re more time constrained, you might strive to carve out 30 minutes per night for cooking. 

You’ll find that once you break down your goals into more specific milestones, they’re a lot easier to stick to, and more fun to tackle.

So, I hope this helped!

Let me know in the comments what your favorite quote was or what goal you’re working on. Confession: I’m the 28 year old with the diet of a five year old.

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