Setting some shiny new goals for 2017? Make sure they’re SMART!

Posted: 4 January 2017 at 9:00 am | Author: Alison German

Happy New Year from everyone at CAW Business School! We hope you are ready to tackle a new year with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm. Will 2017 be the year you find your dream job? Or the year you conquer your deepest fears? Only you can decide, but remember to make any goals you choose to set SMART.  This means…


Specific – You should understand exactly what you need to do to achieve a goal. Become fluent in German, for example, simply will not do, because it’s too general. Where goals are big, they should be broken down into more manageable steps, otherwise your ‘goal’ will always be a vague platitude as opposed to an achievable goal. For example a language lover might choose to Join a German language class, Create a personal language learning schedule, Practice German for 20 minutes per day or Source a German penpal in an effort to pick up the language.


Measureable – Knowing what the physical or mental manifestations of your goal will be makes it easier to reach – otherwise, how will you know how many more steps you need to take before you get there? Think about how you will know whether your goal has been achieved. Sometimes how you measure something is obvious, and you are your most reliable critic – if you’ve committed to getting healthier, and six months later you find yourself as breathless as you’ve always been after climbing a staircase, this is a small indication that your goal has fallen flat. If you don’t know how you are going to measure your progress, chances are your goal is not specific enough.


Attainable – Whilst it’s great to be ambitious, you also need to be realistic about any limitations you might have, and whether you can achieve your goal with the resources available to you. Evaluate how much time, energy, cost and motivation you will need to complete your goal. There’s no point vowing to travel to five new countries this year, if you have neither the time nor the money to do this.


Relevant – Ask yourself why you have chosen a particular goal, and in what way is it going to improve your life. If the answers don’t really relate to each other, you should consider choosing a new goal. An accountant aiming to make 10 pizzas by 5pm every Tuesday may be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Timely – but what relevance does it have to their life or wider development?


Timely – You need to give yourself a time frame to achieve your goals, otherwise there is no sense of urgency on your part, and no incentive for you to do anything. Equally, setting yourself an unrealistic time frame is likely to leave you feeling disheartened when the progress you want to make doesn’t materialise. Be realistic about the amount of time you will need to complete certain goals, and if you’re unsure, research it! Don’t be the couch potato that aims to run a marathon next month, or the amateur chef that wants to learn 12 new recipes every week – it won’t happen.


Here at CAW Business School, 2017 is set to be an exciting year; kicking off in January with the launch of our Level 2 Bookkeeping evening classes, and the start of our Traineeship programme. Sign up to our bi-monthly newsletterto keep up with the latest developments.

More Articles

Course Search

Cookie Consent

This site uses cookies and HTML5 local storage, to help improve our service to you.

Click 'Accept' to continue with these settings or 'Read more' to amend your local data preferences.

Read more Accept