S.M.A.R.T Goals Don’t Work, Good Habits Do

I’m sure you’ve read enough self-help books to get tired of the S.M.A.R.T goals setting formula. Yes, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely are all important, only they are not enough!

You see a couple of months after the exciting “big commitment”, chances are you’re still daydreaming about this career makeover/life change. Because let’s be honest – life gets in the way…

Well, I have some good news and some bad news.

Bad news: most of those big-dreams and aspiring S.M.A.R.T goals never get achieved. Ouch!  The good news though: you can do something about it.

Systems are that name of the game. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with so many ideas and being stuck on how to actually execute them, so creating a structured process and committing to taking one step at a time to achieve your ultimate goal, is the way to make it all happen.

Here are 5 practical things you can implement today to put a “go-getter” system in place:

Declutter your Priorities.

The word “priority” came into the English language in the 1400s, and it was singular. When we say that we have multiple priorities, what we’re essentially saying is that nothing’s a priority.

Most of us have some great expectations from ourselves, and our New Year’s resolution list is a mile long… well this is really self-sabotaging! Now it’s time to decide what your true, single priority is and pursue that with all your power.

Multi-tasking is the Enemy of Focus

Modern society loves multi-tasking (and I’m as guilty as anyone). However, the myth of multi-tasking is that being busy is synonymous with being better. The exact opposite is true – having fewer tasks leads to better work.

If you take a moment to study world-class experts in nearly any field – athletes, artists, scientists, teachers, CEOs – you’ll see this is true. One characteristic that runs through all of them is focus.

If you want to actually achieve your career goal, instead of adding it to the list of diets to do, hobbies to pick up, languages and instruments to learn, and the like that you never actually finish, then practicing focus is the key.

Photo courtesy Daniel Lobo

Baby Steps

Do what you can, with what you have from where you are today. Yes big aspiration is good, and yes we all want to see results, like yesterday. But, it’s only the small actions and consistency that are going to get you one step closer to the desired makeover.



Positive Mindset

Ever heard of “time flies fast when you’re having fun?” that’s because your mind attracts more positivity while you are already enjoying yourself. Pretty neat, yes?

It seems that the word Mindset has become the buzz term nowadays, and it’s being thrown around all too often. For the success system framework, the meaning is merely being positive and focused on the accomplishments. When you appreciate your achievements, you become more confident, driven and – yes once again – focused. Start a gratitude journal today, and write down 3 things you’ve accomplished every single day.



We live in a fast-paced, busy, loud world. It’s easy to see why things (even S.M.A.R.T things) get put off ‘til tomorrow way too often, and why there is always the bigger and shinier object waiting in line. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants to keep going, and that’s what your accountability partner is for! This can be a close friend, a neighbor, a colleague – someone you know and trust – who understands your goal, wants to see you succeed, and is willing to let you know when you should stop being lazy. Now, it’s super important that the terms and condition of this relationship are charted out, so you don’t end up ruining a friendship by being too pushy.

Good Habits

Everyone is on the lookout for tactics and hacks that can make success easier. S.M.A.R.T goals are a good start, the problem is that big goals often require A LOT of activation efforts and it’s easy to get lost on the way. In the beginning you might have the energy to get started each day because you’re motivated and excited about your new goal, but pretty soon (often within a few weeks) that motivation starts to fade and suddenly you’re lacking the energy you need and you begin to feel stuck and overwhelmed.  Good habits will propel you through all of that!

Rita Golstein-Galperin

Rita Golstein-Galperin is a Career Makeover Strategist™ and the founder of Reinvent Yourself Club. Having spent many years on a pursuit of “what do I want to do when I grow up?”, she decided she doesn’t want to grow up and doesn’t want to put her dreams on hold! Since then Rita has helped hundreds of women around the world redefine and reinvent their success - be it a business or a job.

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