Setting Your Smart Goals For 2022

Very soon, many would be dotting their Is and crossing their Ts to ensure they get their wins throughout the new year, we won’t be surprised if you are doing the same.

But then, there are some questions that you will need to answer to be sure that you are on the right path.

Questions like: “am I setting the right goals?”, “how will I know if I achieved my goal?”, “where is this goal leading me to?”, etc.

So, hang on with us let us drive you through the lane of setting the right goals.

You’d probably have heard about SMART goals, but then, how do you generate one and what exactly is this SMARTness?

SMART is simply an acronym for describing a well-set goal. Like in the picture below, it represents, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.

Again, it’s also possible you know the meaning literally, but we are assuming that you don’t and that even if you do, you may not be sure of how it is practically employed, so let’s swing into action and develop your goals rightly!


Goal setting

Each goal you state should address a singular action. It should possess that specificity and singularity, in other words, it’s better to have 10 separate goals addressing each specific action, than having two goals lumped together into one statement. Now, examine these goal statements:

  • … to educate 10,000 men on prostate cancer …
  • … to distribute 1,000 incubators, 15,000 mosquito nets, and educate mothers on jaundice …
  • … to empower 500 women on weight management …

Which of them is right and which is wrong? What makes each one right or wrong? What could have been done better?

Keep your answers, we will address it at the end of this article.


This feature answers how you will know how much progress you have made. For example, if you set out to vaccinate 10,000 school children and from your record book, you have reached 6,000 of them, you can easily say that you have achieved up to 60% of your goal. But then, if there wasn’t an attached metric to that goal, how would you even know how much you’ve done?

So, this feature essentially formalizes your goal.

These are some other examples:

  • … to have up to 1,000 conference registrants in three months
  • … to reduce e-health resistance by 40% by the end of the program
  • … to gain extra cumulative 10,000 followers on all social media platforms …

Now, you can see that these goal statements give a room for assessing the gap between where you want to be and where you currently are, that way, it guides your decision-making and actions.

Nonetheless, some goals may be difficult to generate measurable metrics attached to them, for example, “to become a PMP-certified project manager by the end of Q2 of this year”. In such cases, the measurement can be done by assessing the tasks required to achieve that goal.

For example, to become a PMP-certified project-manager, you need to have previous experience in managing projects, then get your complete professional training, then register, study and seat for your exam. To now assess this goal of becoming a PMP-certified project manager, it will be based on where you are on the journey and how much of the requirements you have fulfilled.

However, before you rule out that the goal has no measurable metric, ensure you have explored all possible metrics that can be attached to that goal and found none.


Some people alternatively call this “achievable”. This feature simply assesses the realistic nature of your goal. Of course, you cannot be creating a magic-like goal and be thinking it is SMART, no way!

Many factors can determine if a goal is achievable, these include things like scope, time, cost.

For example, it is possible for a woman to get pregnant, carry the baby to term and deliver, for up to 5 different times, but this is not attainable within one year, however, it is achievable within ten years, so in this case, time is the deciding factor.

Also, for a budget of NGN275,000 (USD500), it is unrealistic to purchase school materials for up to 50% of primary schools in one Nigerian state in any of the southern regions, however it is achievable to do this for up to 50% of one class in one school.

So, possibility shouldn’t be the only driving force in setting a goal, attainability should also be considered.


In project management, we say that projects are drivers of strategies, in the same way, goals serve like the building blocks of projects and strategies, they often serve like the means to an end.

The relevance nature of your goal statement often answers the hidden question – “why this goal?”.

If you cannot exactly link that goal to a reason, then you are likely on the path of making a wrong decision and investing in a string of wasted efforts.

For example, examine this statement developed by an NGO working on mental health:

“By the end of six months, we would have sent out at least 15 proposals to grant-giving organizations”

Why do they want to send these proposals? Is it to get funds for their projects, or just to keep their workers busy, or just to make them feel good and useful, or just to find something to update their investors and partners? Now, you get it.

Your goal statement should be attached to some form of personal or organisational relevance.


This is likely the most consistent feature of goal statements. Without it, the statements are vague and powerless. Goals are often set to guide our decisions and actions and the power of a goal is in stating what needs to be done and when it needs to be achieved.

Once more, remember that this is tied with realistic boundary. The goals should state an exact date or time frame when the desired is expected to be achieved, that is what it means to be time-bound.

So, let’s get back to our goal statements under the specific sub-section. Here they are:

  • … to educate 10,000 men on prostate cancer …
  • … to distribute 1,000 incubators, 15,000 mosquito nets, and educate mothers on jaundice …
  • … to empower 500 women on weight management …
Set a Dealine

Only the 2nd statement is wrong because it tried to address multiple goals in one statement and in that case, measuring it will be unrealistic and confusing. However, for the first and last goal statements, they are specific on what is desired and have no ambiguity. Now, we hope you got it right.

Now that you understand what a SMART goal is, get to work and win your year.

If you are unsure of what goals are relevant for your bigger picture and desire, or you are still confused on how to set up your SMART goals, then contact us and let’s brainstorm together.

And please share this information with your friends and colleagues.

Thank you.

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