Formulate goals correctly

First of all, it is important to think about the goal you want to achieve. Of course, you can wish for all sorts of things. But whether it can be realized is another story;
To ensure that a goal or suggestion is selected correctly, we use the SMART method as a template. It offers the opportunity to think about the most important criteria by addressing the following points.

Formulating goals with SMART






specific: First, the goal must be clearly and unambiguously defined;

edible: How can I tell that my goal has been achieved, or if applicable an intermediate destination?

ttractive: After that, the goal should also be attractive enough to want to achieve it. What do I get out of it? Is it worth the effort for me?

ealistic: This must also be feasible in principle. I can very well have the goal of flying to the moon, but first I have to clarify whether I have all the skills.

erminated: By when the goal should be achieved. Date, deadline or when a certain situation has been reached.



Make sure you formulate your goal positively. Put into words what you want and not what you don’t want. Only positively formulated goals are guiding for action. There is also a psychological reason for the positive formulation: it is easier to strive towards something than away from something. When you set up a linguistic negation, you put into words what you don’t want. This makes it impossible for you to stop thinking about it.

Here are 3 examples:

  • I no longer want to be loud in conflict situations
  • I no longer want to worry about every little thing.
  • I don’t want to work so much overtime anymore;

The wording alone is an obstacle to success. You can’t stop thinking about your vice if you keep talking about it.

Instead, define positive goals that you like to think about, that motivate you and that pull you towards your success:

  • I remain calm and composed in conflict situations
  • I concentrate on the essentials
  • I go home at five o’clock on the dot

It also makes psychological sense to formulate goals in the present tense. This brings the goals closer to the person. If I say “I’m going home on time at five o’clock”, I’m already making the target state part of my current life;


Formulate your goal clearly: It must be clear when you have achieved your goal. That’s why you should avoid comparisons and escalations. A few more anti-examples:

  • I want to listen better.
  • I want to learn faster.
  • I want to invest more in relationships

And again the corresponding clearly defined goals:

  • I listen so well that I get all the essential information.
  • I learn Italian so quickly that I can make myself understood on vacation when shopping and in restaurants;
  • I call my friends at least once a week.


Develop a concrete image of yourself achieving your goals

Is it worthwhile for you to commit yourself to this goal? Do you feel attracted by your image of the future? Is that what you want? If you have concerns, think about how your goal could become more motivating for you; Perhaps there is a goal behind your goal. One seminar participant initially formulated the goal, “I want to be able to say no”, but then realized that his future vision of himself saying no was by no means motivating for him. His hidden goal was the desire to have more time for his essential tasks. The vision in which he saw himself carrying out important tasks appealed to him.


The goal must seem realistic to you, otherwise the overwhelming obstacles will demotivate you; It is unlikely that you will become the best tennis player in the world!


Determine when you will reach your goal Many people spend their whole lives talking about the bright goals of the future and never take a single step towards realizing their wishes;

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