Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T + P

It’s that time of year again! People are gearing up for the New Year and making plans to make some changes. Maybe that includes you!?

In my last post I wrote about a study that was done on the 1979 graduating class from Harvard’s Business school. The study shows that by writing your goals down and making a plan you’ll 20X, or in this case 10X, your results.

But when you write those goals down make sure you make them smart. No not smart like Plato, but S.M.A.R.T and state them in Positive terms. Let me explain.

S.M.A.R.T + P Goals

I write and post a lot about the breath and the many benefits of starting a breathing practice. For this example let’s say your goal is to “start a breathing practice” in the new year. That’s a great goal and I commend you for wanting to start a breath practice, but the goal is a little vague. Let’s put it in S.M.A.R.T + P terms.

Specific – In order for us to achieve goals they have to be specific.  “I am going to start a breathing practice” sounds good, but what does it really mean?  A more specific goal would be, “I am going to start a breathing practice on January 1st, and continue throughout the year. I will breathe for at least 20 minutes per practice. I will complete a breathing practice at least 5 days per week”.

Measurable – Goals need to be measurable.  How else will you know you’ve completed the goal? In our example we’ve made it a measurable goal. We can easily keep track of the number of days and the time we practice using an app, a spreadsheet, or by writing it in our journals. You may have some other creative way to track but the point is, this is easy to do.

Achievable/Actionable – Do you have the knowledge, skills, and resources to pull it off? What do you know about breathing practices? Do you need to learn more about the topic? The good news is there are TONS of articles and books on the Internet about how to start a breathing practice. I’m also happy to help, and am including a link to my calendar if you’d like to talk it through. There are also TONS of apps you can download onto your smartphone to help you get started.

Realistic – Is our goal realistic? If our goal is to breathe for 20 minutes 3 times a day that may not be possible with everything else we have going on in our lives.  In our example 20 minutes 5 times per week may not be realistic for you. If not perhaps 10 or 15 minutes 5 times per week would work. Whatever works best for you is how you should implement it but at the end of the day make sure it is a goal that is realistic under your circumstances.

Time Bound – We need to put a time frame around our goal. Otherwise we may never get around to it.  “I’ll do it tomorrow” becomes never.  However, if we put a timeframe on it we have a deadline and our attitude changes to, “I need to get this done”. In our example we’ve said we are going to start on January 1st, and continue throughout the year. We’ve also included a number of days per week. We could get more granular and says “at 6 AM”, but we’ll leave it for now.

Positive – As you write the goal make sure you state it in positive terms. Let’s shift gears for a second and let’s say our goal is “To run 26.2 miles without stopping by December 31, of next year”. This goals meets all the S.M.A.R.T requirements but “without stopping” puts a negative spin on it. Our mind focuses on “without stopping”. To put it into more positive terms let’s slightly shift to, “To run 26.2 continuous miles by December 31, of next year”. Now we’ve shifted our focus to “continuous running” so “stopping” is out of the picture.


If you are planning on making changes for the New Year, can the resolutions, get out a pen and some paper, and write down your goals for the year. Make a plan to reach these goals and your odds of completing them increase exponentially. And if you want to be smart like Plato, make your goals S.M.A.R.T and state them in positive terms.

If we can help you with your goals for the New Year we offer FREE Consults! Click link below and schedule yours today!

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