The SMARTEST Goal Setting Techniques

By John Koze

For some time now the SMART techniques for goal setting has been used by authors, trainers, coaches, etc. to create a foundation for actualizing goals. They work and have proven themselves over time so that they are published and reiterated a thousand times over. They truly are “smart” – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and tangible or timely.

As a trainer in employment transition training skills I have discovered that goal setting is a mandatory topic in every workshop that I facilitate. The group is always challenged by me to be very specific with their goals. This is where the SMART technique proves to be very effective. I have added a new dimension to this effective process. It is called the SMARTEST goal setting technique that I use to fire up one’s commitment to a higher level of successful goal setting.


In other words when your values and goals align they form a passionate attitude that light up the room when you speak of your goals. This will engage people in your dreams and attract tangible networking opportunities, ideas, advice etc. People are drawn to passionate goal setters. In my workshops I have the participants perform a self-esteem exercise that re-familiarizes them to their talents and accomplishments. This exercise builds confidence so when goal setting is discussed they are more affirming about themselves and their goals. It realigns them with their values hence engaging them into their dreams and ultimately enrolling others with their support. Your enthusiasm is contagious!

Shifting Goals!

There is an important notice that can be placed on every human being. It would read…”During the course of your life the most constant thing you will experience is change”. Your goals will shift. I venture to say that if they don’t you are not working your goal, they are not “smart” enough or they lack focus. Bold statement and I know there are always exceptions to the rule. I trust when you are so focused on a goal it draws in other possibilities that can shift your original goal. You might still hit the bull’s eye but it will on a different target. Knowing this can take the pressure off those who are perfectionist or believe with an unhealthy vigor that they must stick to a particular goal. Be flexible! Caution with shifting goals – I am not endorsing constantly changing your goals every other week or month. I’m talking about how life circumstances and your focus attracts opportunities not originally seen at the time of the creation of the original goal. I do congratulate those that stick with a goal for years, achieve them and are happy. This is also a possibility.

Team Effort!

Part of my responsibilities as a trainer is to encourage that the participants enroll a person that will hold them accountable to their goals – another words an “accountability coach”. Our world is wrought with a lack of accountability. There are people who can not follow through with agreements set with others let alone the agreements they set for themselves. Through a team effort you will be more sensitive to upholding your goals for you will report your successes and failures to your coach. I realize that friends or family members are usually chosen as part of the support team and are not professional coaches. Therefore, I give them some easy guidelines that will make them more effective as an amateur coach. Tell your coach not to accept reasons or excuses for a goal that was not accomplished. Instead they can assist you in renegotiating the goal that was broken. In other words recommit to it if there still is value in it. Conversely, celebrate your successes when goals are achieved. Also, meet with or call your team or coach on a regular basis with a set appointment. This adds more structure to your goal and increases the chances of success.

There is no better life than that which is lived in pure self-expression. You might as well get the most out of your self-expression by knowing what constitutes effective goal setting. Therefore, infuse into your goal setting regimen an engaging attitude, acceptance of the shifting human condition and a system that allows for accountability through a team that supports. You will add structure, vitality and commitment to the fulfillment of your dreams and be an example for others to follow.

John Koze is a graduate of Landmark Education’s Curriculum for Living program on personal productivity and human relatedness. John consults at several Career Training Centers on networking, time and life management and goal setting skills and is a management and customer relations trainer with the State of California Employment Training Panel (ETP). You may contact John at


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