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How can the smart motivational system help you

SMART System Alonzo Echavarria-Garza

SMART motivational system, an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It serves as a goal-setting framework to assist both individuals and organizations in establishing precise and actionable objectives.

George T. Doran introduced the SMART system in 1981 as an improved approach for managers to define goals compared to traditional methods. Since then, it has gained widespread adoption among various entities seeking to create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Here is an in-depth breakdown of each component of the SMART motivational system:

  • Specific: Goals should be unambiguous and detailed, answering the questions of who, what, where, when, and why. For instance, rather than a vague goal like "lose weight," specify it as "shed 10 pounds in 3 months through daily 30-minute exercise sessions."

  • Measurable: Goals must be quantifiable to track progress and determine achievement. Instead of a goal to "improve public speaking," set one like "deliver a 10-minute speech without notes in front of an audience of 50 people."

  • Achievable: Goals should be realistic and attainable, presenting a challenge but not an impossibility. For example, instead of aiming to "run a marathon next month," set a goal of "running a 5K in 3 months after daily 30-minute training sessions."

  • Relevant: Goals must align with your overarching objectives, reflecting your values and priorities. Rather than a goal to "learn to play the guitar," define it as "learn to play the guitar to perform at my friend's wedding next year."

  • Time-bound: Goals require a deadline or target date to create urgency and motivation. Instead of "write a book someday," set a goal to "complete a book in 6 months by dedicating 1 hour of daily writing."

The SMART system proves effective in establishing clear, actionable, and attainable objectives. Through this framework, both individuals and organizations enhance their prospects of success by emphasizing specificity, measurability, achievability, relevance, and time constraints.

However, it's important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the SMART motivational system:


  • Clarity: SMART offers a concise and clear method for crafting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.

  • Focus: Specific goals enable individuals and entities to concentrate their efforts on achieving them.

  • Motivation: SMART fosters motivation by providing a clear roadmap to success.

  • Accountability: Measurable goals empower individuals and organizations to track their progress and hold themselves accountable.


  • Rigidity: The SMART system may prove overly inflexible for some, lacking adaptability in dynamic circumstances.

  • Overemphasis on Short-Term Goals: SMART primarily focuses on short-term, time-bound goals, potentially overshadowing long-term objectives.

  • Lack of Creativity: The rigid structure of SMART may hinder creativity in pursuing innovative goals.

  • Incompatibility with All Goals: SMART is best suited for specific types of goals and may not be suitable for all objectives.

In summary, the SMART motivational system serves as an effective approach to establishing clear and actionable goals. Nevertheless, its suitability should be carefully assessed by individuals and organizations, considering its pros and cons before adopting it as their goal-setting framework.

Motivation serves as a potent driving force behind human behavior. It kindles competition, fosters social connections, and propels individuals toward meaningful, purposeful lives. Additionally, motivation plays a pivotal role in enhancing energy and performance, instilling perseverance, nurturing self-confidence, combating fear, and inspiring others. It aids in prioritizing life goals and spurs corrective action in the face of changing circumstances.

Motivation represents a crucial resource, enabling individuals to adapt, function productively, and maintain well-being amid a constantly evolving landscape of opportunities and challenges. It serves as a pathway to transform one's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Numerous motivation theories offer unique perspectives on the subject:

  1. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: This theory posits that human needs form a hierarchical structure, with basic physiological needs at the base and self-actualization needs at the pinnacle. According to this theory, individuals must satisfy lower-level needs before pursuing higher-level ones.

  2. Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory: This theory divides motivation factors into hygiene factors (e.g., salary, job security) and motivators (e.g., recognition, achievement), suggesting that both play distinct roles in motivating individuals.

  3. McClelland's Theory of Needs: McClelland's theory identifies three fundamental needs that drive human behavior: the need for achievement, the need for affiliation, and the need for power.

  4. Vroom's Expectancy Theory: Vroom's theory revolves around individuals' expectations regarding the outcomes of their actions, asserting that people are more motivated when they believe their actions will lead to desirable results.

  5. Self-Determination Theory: This theory emphasizes three innate psychological needs—autonomy, competence, and relatedness—as critical drivers of motivation. It posits that individuals are more motivated when they feel in control, competent in their pursuits, and connected with others.

These theories provide valuable insights into human behavior and motivation and find widespread applications in business, education, and personal development.

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