Getting smarter than SMART

Many of you will be familiar with the SMART mnemonic (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant or Realistic, and Time-bound) when thinking about goal setting and action planning.

Personally, I’ve always found this a bit clunky, so when I came across this other way, it pretty much revolutionised my goal setting and decision-making processes. When you’ve tried it, please share it with friends and colleagues – and keep us posted about your success!


Be very specific about what you want. When you’ve made your initial note, ask yourself ‘what’s important about that?’ You might need to then repeat this question a few times to really understand what it is you want to achieve – and why. You might find that your original goal isn’t actually that important, or that there are other things to do first.


Make a note here of where you are now in relation to your self/business/relationship/goal. This might include progress you’ve made so far, what challenges you’ve overcome and how. This gives you a good starting point.


Be honest about what might get in your way – not just things like lack of money, but perhaps whether your skills are appropriate, how much you’re driven towards achieving your goal etc. This will give you a very good picture of the things to overcome.


When you’re thinking about what resources you have available, consider not just finances, but friends, technology, time, imagination etc. Dig deep, you might surprise yourself finding a way to overcome the barriers you’ve listed. This may include what you’ve learned in this process so far.

What next

Make a note of the very next step you’ll take to achieve your goal. Then the next one. Then the next one. Until you have a list of things that you can start straight away to reach your goal.  You can put timescales on your actions if you want to. 

Who will you tell?

One of the best ways to ensure that you achieve your goals is to share what you’re doing with someone trusted. So, here, make a note of who will help you to achieve your goal by holding you to account, take an interest in what you’re doing. A good coach will help you with this.

Note your success

It’s always good to keep a record of your success. We all love looking back on what we’ve achieved, and it provides great learning for the next time we face a challenge.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42
Written by Tracey Hutchinson, MSc, NLP MPrac, Happy Brain Coach/Trainer, Advanced Hypnosis
Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42

Tracey is a talented and experienced coach, trainer and mentor who is successfully helping people make positive and permanent change across all areas of life. When you're ready to find out how easily and quickly Tracey can help you find your best self, contact her @Tracey_Hutch or at

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