Measurable Goals - Plot Your Progress To Success

Setting measurable goals is another one of the keys in the SMART goal setting process. After all if we don't know or are uncertain about what we are doing or how we are managing it how can we hope to accomplish the task we have set ourselves?

SMART is a really useful process by which we can clarify our aim and ensure that it is not only what we want but that we can achieve it and within a realistic time frame. A goal that is measurable is step two in this process.


SMART stands for

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timely

follow the links to find out more about this approach to goal setting and how it can change your life.


What are measurable goals?

We have specified the goal we wish to go for and now we need to see what needs to happen in order to determine whether it is a measurable outcome.

  • So what should we looking at to measure our goal?
  • How will we know if we are making progress toward our prize?
  • How do we know if we are on track or taking an unnecessary diversion towards our target?
  • How do we feel about what we are doing - what are we telling ourselves about the effort that we are putting in?
  • If we continue what we are doing will we achieve the success we crave?
  • If we have to change are we ready and willing and able to adapt in order to accomplish our task?
  • Will we know when we have achieved our target?

Is this task one of series or an individual item - in other words are we clear where the end-point is?

So what is it to measure something?

What do we understand by measuring something - in this case our goal? For our measurable goals

  • what is the quantity we are after?
  • what is the magnitude that would make our effort a success?
  • is there a standard we need to reach to have our goal?
  • is our goal clear to us or shaded in blacks and greys and out of focus?
  • how do we rank our target - is it important enough to put the effort in?
  • what is the real point of our exercise - is this clear to us?
  • can we hit our target or are we afraid we will be way off the mark?
  • do we need to increase the intensity of our effort to reach our target? Or
  • will a gradual effort over time secure the prize we desire?

How can we determine progress?

What does progress along our route to our goal really mean to us?

  • what needs to develop - if anything - for us to achieve our aim?
  • do we need to grow in order to achieve?
  • will we have to breakthrough previous barriers to accomplish?
  • what do we need to have or do or be to make headway?
  • will achieving our goal be a real milestone (or quickly forgotten)?
  • what will be the real gain from our success?
  • will our goal really promote the side of life we would like it to?
  • will our progression be steady or in spurts and starts?
  • will our achievement have allowed us to blossom in life and ourselves?
  • will we better ourselves throughout and not just at the conclusion?
  • will we be able to quantify the real gains we achieve during the goal achieving process? Or are we left thinking why did I bother?

Can we measure the goal itself?

What criteria can we apply to our goal? Are our measurable goals

  • sufficient for our needs, at least for now?
  • just adequate or does if fulfill our real needs?
  • is there a richness about the process or does it leave us flat?
  • enriching our life or depleting our resources?
  • satisfying us or leaving us feeling empty?
  • allowing us to grow and develop or are we standing still and stagnating
  • motivating us and encouraging us on to greater achievement, or is it a source of angst and unhappiness?

Will our goal become our gaol?

We should be clear that our goal

  • should not become a noose around our neck
  • should not become a burden for us
  • should not become something with which we can chastise ourselves with
  • should not become a source of derision for us - or be we should be clear at the outset in order to be prepared to handle any eventuality
  • should not leave us without energy, hope or real benefit
  • should not be leading us along the wrong paths and in the wrong direction in life

Rather our goal should . . .

  • be a pleasure for us to go for
  • excite us in anticipation of our prize
  • be worthwhile and meaningful
  • motivate us to act and achieve
  • be for the common good whenever possible

The real measure

What can we say about the real measure of our achievement. Will the measurable goal setting process have been a success? Will we be able to put the lessons learned into practice in the future in other projects and the achievement of other aims and targets?

Real measurable goals should be stepping stones to greater achievement, both in the world and in our own lives.


SMART stands for

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timely

follow the links to find out more about this approach to goal setting and how it can change your life.