That’s the word you hear the announcer yell every time a soccer player scores a goal. But when it comes down to it, it is not really just about goal setting, it’s all about goal achievement.

Every January I can count on my health club being overrun by the New Year resolution folks that have a goal to get in shape or to lose weight. The parking places are all full along with all the lockers and getting on a machine is next to impossible. If I give it until around the end of the month things are back to normal.

The large majority of the “resolutionists” have given it up and called it quits. They ache, they’re tired and they weren’t seeing the immediate results they wanted. It isn’t that they didn’t want to achieve their health improvement goals; they just did not have a good process in place to achieve their goals.

And make no mistake goal achievement is a process.

SMART goal setting is the basis for guiding you through setting and achieving your goals. The first documented use of the term SMART is attributed to George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review.

S – Specific. Your goal cannot be a nebulous blob, such as you need to sell more. How much more? How many more customers? How many more target markets? How many sales calls need to be made in a day, a week, a month?

M – Measurable. It you can measure it, you can manage it. See above.

A – Attainable. Why set a goal that you can’t achieve? You’re half way there if you know you can achieve it, if you work smart and hard.

R – Realistic. (But I like Realistically High.) You have to be stretching yourself in order to grow. Set your goals too low and you won’t get where you really want to be.

T – Time-bound. By when? You must have a deadline for when you plan on achieving your goal.

A few additional details regarding goal setting and achievement:

  • Goals must be written. This helps to clarify and clearly state what is to be accomplished.
  • Goals must be harmonious with the overall VISION of your entrepreneurial venture.
  • Goals must be yours. If they’re not yours, you’ll never own them.

Goal setting is the foundation for your direction and your actions. Accomplishing your goals is the ultimate GOAL. Good luck!

Philip Gafka is a Certified Business Coach and Principal at LEAP Associate, Inc. He can be contacted at,


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