According to Mark McCormick’s book, What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, There was a study done at Harvard between 1979 and 1989. Graduates of the MBA program were asked “Have you set clear written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” The results of that question were:

•Only 3% had written goals and plans

•13% had goals but not in writing

•84% had no specific goals at all

10 years later Harvard interviewed the members of that class again and found:

1. The 13% who had goals but not in writing were earning on average twice as much as the 84% of those who had no goals at all

2. The 3% who had clear, written goals were earning on average 10 times as much as the other 97% of graduates all together. The only difference between the groups is the clarity of the goals they had for themselves

Here is a guide to help you set SMARTER goals.

(S) Specific: 

For a goal to be helpful it must be clear. Get clear on what the goal/win is.


  • Outcome Goals – I want to loose 20 lbs
  • Input Goals – I will workout 3 times per week

(M) Motivational:

The goal has to be motivational enough to cause you to press through the inevitable obstacles that you will encounter. If you goal is too small, you will not have the emotional fuel to stay the course.
(A) Achievable:

Some things just aren’t God’s will for you. Be wise and allow that to inform your goals.

(R) Recordable:

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Documenting your progress (or lack thereof) makes you accountable and shows how far you’ve come and what you need to work on.

(T) Time-specific: 

When do you intend to have your goal met. Attach a date to your goal. Reverse engineer, then realistically set benchmarks.

(E) Evaluated:  

Review your goals weekly (or daily if you’re struggling). That way you can trouble-shoot early, and change direction when necessary.

Howard Hendricks – Experience will not make you better only evaluated experience makes you better.

(R) Recited :

Make sure you communicate your goals to the correct people. One of the greatest source of stress on teams is unclear goals.