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The SMART Framework for Effective Goals

When we reflect on what we want to achieve and what we need to do to achieve it, we are infinitely more likely to reach our goals. The SMART framework is a nifty structure to help us set more effective goals. SMART stands for:

S – Specific

Your goal is detailed and precise

M – Measurable

Your goal is quantifiable (you can measure it) and you can track your progress

A – Attainable

Your goal is realistic and achievable

R – Relevant

The goal is helpful and valuable

T – Time-Bound

The goal has a deadline

SMART Goals vs. Regular Goals

Here’s some SMART examples…

1. "I want to improve my strength"

Try... "I will do 3 strength-based training sessions a week to increase my one-rep max squat by 5% in the next 12 weeks"

2. "I want to start running and enter a race"

Try... "I will run 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes, building up to a 5k race in June"

3. "I want to get better at golf"

Try... "I want to reduce my golf handicap from [X] to [X] by the end of the year, by practicing 3 times a week at the driving range and playing once a week"

Give it a go by writing down three or four goals (don’t overwhelm yourself with too many) using the SMART framework.


Embrace Performance is a Performance Psychology consultancy based in the UK. We work with athletes, teams, coaches and clubs to help them overcome the mental challenges in sport. Our mission is to help clients perform and feel better.

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