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Do You Truly Have SMART Goals?

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Do You Truly Have SMART Goals?


Back to School time is here and it is at this time of year that we often choose to reassess our SMART goals.


With this reassessment, there are various questions that this period of time may bring. Questions such as “What have I accomplished this summer?” are not unique. Thoughts, and doubts, on summer diet and exercise accomplishments are at the forefront of people’s mind. There is also a tendency, much like in January, to put some extra thought into career goals. We may think that now that the kids are back in school we can get more gym time, eat better and work harder. However, with the kids return to school we are offered new obstacles such as carpool, sports, and homework.


I encourage you to, instead of using the summer schedule as an excuse, look at what truly held you back from achieving your goals and how you can make sure that this obstacle(s) is no longer in your way.


The “No Real Plan” obstacle. A lack of awareness of where to start is the biggest issue here. Setting SMART goals is a very positive way in which to move forward and to move past the idea that you have “no clue” as to where to start. This acronym asks for you to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable,  Realistic and Time-Based.


A specific goal is a goal in which you pinpoint exactly what you wish to achieve. A good idea is to make a goal sheet listing 3-5 SPECIFIC goals that you wish to achieve in 3 months, 6 months and one year. You can choose to go further than this time frame if it makes sense for the obstacle.


To make this goal measurable you need to be able to clearly track the progress you have made.


Do not just say “I want to be healthier” but rather write down the steps that you need to take to get healthier.


Do not just say “I want to be successful in business” or “I want to increase my revenue by 50%.” but rather write down exactly how you propose to do that.


An attainable and realistic goal will be one that is possible. 


A bit of a dose of reality is very important but it is equally important to reach a bit beyond your comfort zone. The achieving of this goal is not necessarily going to be easy but it will be worth it.


A time-based goal will be logical within a reasonable time frame. 


A time frame must be tied to the goal. Nothing gets accomplished when we “get around to it.” The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is found by setting a reasonable deadline.


The “No Time” obstacle. Is it really that you have no time or is it the more likely option of the fact that you have not found the time for this pursuit?


I have no doubt that we are all very busy people.  The stay at home parent, the work from home parent, the work outside of the house parent, and almost every other person has a busy life filled with the pursuit of their goals and, let’s face it, a whole bunch of busy work and maybe a few time wasters, as well.


It is the busy work and the time wasters that must be explored.


Start each day with a clearly defined list of “Five Focus Items.” This list should include the most important tasks and a clearly defined plan on how to accomplish them. The plan should not include  more than 10 items “To Accomplish.” In my practice, I have found that any list larger than ten is overwhelming and often leads to an ignored list.


The “No Energy” obstacle. If you truly have no energy then research is needed. Assess your sleep patterns for habits, duration, and quality. Review your health goals, nutrition, and water intake. Your water intake should be approximately half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 150-pound person should be drinking a minimum of 75 ounces of good, clean water per day. This should be increased based on heat, exercise, and various other factors. This should be decreased if you have a medical issue requiring you to do so.


A dehydrated body is a tired body.


Also consider visiting a nutrition specialist for a review of your nutrition requirements, your food intake, and your food choices. 


The “No Confidence” obstacle.  Always questioning your well thought out plans will not help you to progress towards your goals.


Do your due diligence in regards to research and then have confidence in your work.


Realize that it’s okay to make mistakes. These can be wonderful learning experiences and they may even be an opportunity in disguise.


The “No Money or Resources” obstacle. This obstacle can be solved in various ways. I encourage you to first logically assess what goals you can achieve with little to no investment. This will negate the need for investors.


Regardless of the goal, there are always certain things that can be achieved without much money.


Find these things and do them. 


Give much thought to your goals and whether, or not, you really want an investor.  An investor may bring money to the proverbial table but they also bring opinions, politics and shared ownership.


I wish you much luck achieving all of your smart goals and even those that you have yet to discover.


Please let me know if I can help in any way.

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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30 thoughts on “Do You Truly Have SMART Goals?”

  1. I believe where there is a will, there’s a way so if one is not achieving goals you have set, then either you don’t want to achieve them that badly or one of the ‘Obstacles’ you mentioned Elise are in place…. Time …Energy … Confidence …Money.Are they obstacles or could they be excuses for some people?

    SMART Goals were something we used in my old career environment and they work, and are useful for team projects too.

    If something needs to be dealt with, then your post is a good plan for folks to follow…. set a goal…and get on with it!!

    Cool post 🙂


  2. Hello Elise,
    Wonderful article. Goal setting is crucial in our journey to success. And I believe that to use and practice S.M.A.R.T. is surely a good way to achieve those goals. Thanks for sharing.

  3. “Back to School” for me means back to homeschooling my 15-year-old son. Sometimes I wish I could send him to school in town again (not an option), but even during the years when he was there, I was amazed and dismayed to discover I was my own worst enemy as far as distractions from my purpose.

    I like the SMART goals, because they are clearly defined and measurable, so it’s easy to see where I’m going and how efficiently I am keeping to my plan.

  4. Elise

    Great article on SMART goals. I have been using SMART goals for years now and when you focus down on the goals it becomes a very effective system. I went through management training in the early 90s. WoW that shows my age 😉 Thanks for Posting Andy

  5. Erika Mohssen-Beyk

    Hi Elise,
    very good suggestion you give here
    for setting goals smart ,I think this can
    be a help for everybody.
    Thank you for this

  6. It’s clear from your article, Elise, that it’s far more important to work smart than hard.

    I think the most important thing to do is to make sure to make your daily task list manageable. I like to have no more than 3 main tasks for the day. More than that means I won’t get them done. Then, instead of feeling satisfied that I completed my daily goal, I feel anxious and overwhelmed.

  7. Hi Elise,

    Excellent advice! I do find that writing down our goals, then breaking them down to days, hours, etc. is a fine way of accomplishing it.

    I have actually purchased a white board to do so. In my home office I have my big goal on that board. Then I break it down to months, weeks, days. It is on a tripod so I can’t miss it he he he.

    But I do follow it! Yes, I must admit I do have days that I take off because it is so darn beautiful outside, but then I double up and get things accomplished.

    It’s not all about business! Because I’m a vegetarian, and like to prepare my own organic meals, this takes time. So I do block out the time for that.

    If we don’t keep our energy levels up, we cannot get things accomplished.

    Sorry for the novella here, but this post got me going!

    Well done!


  8. Great reminder here Elise. I set my goals earlier in the year. During that time, I have revisited them only twice. I had them inscribed in my mind. But I now know that I need to look at these more regularly as things change. As I learn and grow within myself, I find that some of these goals need to be ‘tweeked’. to incorporate the changes I have made within myself.
    Thanks again.

  9. Nathaniel Kidd

    I remember SMART goals from when I was getting my degree in Organizational Leadership. I can tell you from experience that setting SMART goals truly works. This is very useful information and can be applied to so many aspects of our life. Thanks for sharing Elise.

  10. THANK YOU for this post!! I definitely feel like I have not accomplished all I wanted to do this summer and I’ve told myself “it’ll get easier once school starts”. But, you’re so right, in order to improve it’s important to start with a workable plan. I’ll be sure to be SMART about my goals 🙂

  11. Wise and wonderful words Elise.

    I certainly hope to be able to implement a lot of what you are teaching here.

    Thank you for the reminders to plan, hydrate and sleep 🙂

  12. Hi Elise,
    Thanks for this wonderful post. I think some of my problem is that I put too many things on my list for a day and it seems I never get anything done.

    I am going to work with smaller lists and see how that works.

    Have a great day. Monna

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.