How the SMARTER Goals Acryonym is the Key to Actually Achieving Your Goals

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We’re wrapping up a renovation. Like a major one. And the clutter and junk and boxes that have littered our hallways and every spare corner are finally disappearing and going to their new home (whether it’s the dumpster or someone else’s home.)

One thing I came across that was particularly interesting (to me anyway) was the pile of planners. I’ve got regular day planners, but I also have several goal setting planners. I used to LOVE getting these things and having long sessions dreaming and plotting out my goals, especially once I learned how to set SMART goals (we’ll get to that acryonym in a minute). But what I noticed while flipping through was that I wasn’t great at re-evaluating on a regular basis. Which meant that some goals sort of fell by the wayside and I never picked them back up. So when I started doing self reflection (because I’m doing a lot more inner work lately to be more self-aware), I realized I never completed the ‘ER’ in SMARTER goals. And that’s unfortunate, because those two letters are REALLY important!

smarter goals meaning acronym worksheet

What the SMARTER Goals acronym means

So let’s do a refresher in case you don’t remember what the SMART means in SMART goals.

S = specific

M = measurable

A = attainable

R = relevant

T = time-bound

{If you’d like a big refresher, bounce back to the SMART Goals post.}

And then the E = Evaluate; the R = Readjust to complete the meaning of the SMARTER Goals acronym.

But the bigger picture of these 2 last letters are really everything when it comes to how to set achievable goals. Because the achievement comes from readjustment when things go wrong, and not giving up when you don’t get what you want immediately. This means doing periodic reviews, whether monthly, quarterly, every half-year, or annually. I recommend at minimum doing a half-year review. (Especially for bigger goals.)

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The combination of the Half-Year Review and explaining the E R in SMARTER Goals is really a beautiful intertwining.

Because even though I’ve set my SMART Goals and constantly revisit them, it takes a real purposeful time to sit down and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Seeing where you’ve been and reminding yourself where you’re going helps keep that focus on the things you’ve decided really matter. And that’s what the E and R are for: Evaluate and Readjust. And these two points should guide your reviews every time.

✨ Read all the way to the bottom to grab your free SMARTER Goals Worksheet! 👇

Start your goal reviews (the E + R) with SMART goals you previously set

Honestly, this changes sometimes, because–although I really appreciate technology–I need something tangible in front of my face. I don’t need to have to search for my phone to pull up the app to sign in to see my goals listed one tiny section at a time. I need the whole shebang right in front of my face where I can see it all and touch it.

So I sometimes use a bunch of papers filled with post-it notes, and sometimes I use my whiteboard. Sometimes I just use a big empty wall space with post-its. (I’d really love a super cool window area like they use at Olivia Pope & Associates on Scandal, but our home sadly doesn’t have giant industrial atrium windows in it…) The point is, you need to figure out what will work best for you. Even though it looks messy sometimes, my husband and the kids know NOT TO TOUCH THE POST-ITS, lest they want the Mommy Monster to come out of her shell. (Like, the bad version, not the fun version that tickles.) 👹

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E=EVALUATE your goals and progress

Once you have your system up in front of you, you should go through each goal and evaluate how you’ve been doing the last six months.

  1. Is your system working?
  2. Are you stuck anywhere?  
  3. Also determine what you’ve learned: what things should you do more of, and what things should you do less of (or eliminate altogether)?

If you’ve got everything set, simply go through -one at a time- your systems and tasks and determine if things are working or not. If they are, great! Keep on keepin’ on! (Please say it in your best Dazed and Confused Matthew McConaughey voice.) If they aren’t, move on to the next step: Readjust.

R=READJUST your goals, benchmarks, and mini-goals accordingly

Ok, I’m not gonna lie–I usually HATE change. But if it’s for a good reason, I’m all for it. In this case, if things are not working out like they should be in your goals, in your systems, or in your efforts at moving forward in any area of your life–by all means, change and READJUST. Be SMARTER. You can’t grow if you can’t move forward with things.

  1. What systems have you not tried yet?
  2. What programs?
  3. What apps?
  4. Do you need to get a fresh perspective?

Figure out some way to get through the roadblock and make a new plan. I know this is becoming the new cliche, but if you’re at a loss, Google it. I promise you, you are not alone–others have had the same problems as you–but the ones with the secret insight are using these tactics in setting and reassessing their SMARTER Goals.

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The best way to do a review is to get it all on paper. See, you’ll be doing more reviews, and it’s so, soooo helpful to have your previous review documented. This helps you see the amount of progress you’ve made. It also helps you see the roadblocks you had before, and how you overcame them. It shows your growth! You can see all the amazing things you’ve done, and how far you’ve come since then! I personally want to save all of mine to show my kids (who are all girls and will hopefully be moms one day, too) how much you can accomplish as a working mom. And isn’t that the point? To be a Wonder Woman and guide your kids to be as great?

Grab the printable Mid-Year Goal Review to evaluate your SMARTER goals + get access to ALL the free resources in the STELLA NADENE Resource Vault!: 👇

smarter goals meaning acronym worksheet

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How did your SMARTER Goals review go? Please let me know, I love hearing from other working Moms (whether WAH or out of the home!) We all inspire each other! And if you know someone who could use this guide, PLEASE SHARE! 🙂

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