You have probably heard about using the SMART approach when seeking to achieve a goal. 

This concept was first developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham in their 1981 article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives”.

It was a way to help managers clearly define theirs and their team’s goals.  

While working in professional sales positions for close to 20 years, this concept was taught time and time again in the various companies I worked. 

As you may know, SMART is an acronym that stands for:



Attainable or Achievable or Assignable

Realistic or Relevant

Time bound or Timely



When creating a goal, it needs to be clear and specific.  A goal to reach your quarterly sales target is great, but not specific enough.  A more specific goal may be to achieve $1 million in revenue by the end of the quarter or maybe to bring on 15 new clients.


To be effective, the goal needs to be able to be measured. The examples above provide specific figures that can be measured. $1 million in revenue or 15 new clients.


The person or team focused on the goal needs to be in the right position to achieve it. If the above mentioned goals were created by a sales person or team, they would be the best to attain it. 


The other consideration to make is how realistic is the goal.  Is $1 million in revenue realistic to achieve within 90 days? What is the average revenue per quarter? This may involve a bit of review to determine what is realistic. 

Time Bound

The goal needs to have a specific timeframe to complete it. The specific date and even the time can help make it very clear when it needs to be achieved by. 


Here is the thing about SMART Goals.  

It is completely focused on the left side of the brain.  The logical and analytical side of our brain.  

The side of our brain that is all about the details, being organized and precise. 

That doesn’t sound very exciting does it?

There are emotions, feelings and creativity involved with reaching goals. 

It is crucial to use the right side of your brain to be able to ensure you consistently achieve your goals. 

The right side of your brain helps you with imagining and visualizing the experience you will have when you achieve your goal. 

Here is what you need to do before creating a SMART goal. 








You will want to reflect on what will you see when you achieve your goal. Who is there? When you achieve your quarterly sales goal, what will you see at work when? What will your bank account look like?


What will you be hearing when you achieve your goal? What will people be saying? Is there a song that will be playing? What will you be saying to yourself?


When you reach your goal, will you be dancing, jumping up and down or shouting from the rooftops?


Your feelings are a huge factor to achieve your goals.  How will you feel when you achieve your goal? Happy? Overjoyed? Grateful?


So when setting a goal, you want to start with the end game, your experience. 

What are you going to see, hear and feel to accomplish your goal?  Start here first.  

Then figure out what is the first step you need to take to achieve your goal.  Use the SMART goals layout for this step.  Now create the second step using SMART and so on. 

Would you like to see and hear what it looks like to create a goal using VAKE and SMART?

You can watch a real example of creating a goal using this method at a recent masterclass.