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TL;DR: The SMARTER framework, incorporating Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluated, and Rewarded criteria, transforms vague aspirations into actionable, attainable goals. At Decisive Leadership, we leverage this method to help clients set personalised goals, develop strategic plans, and maintain motivation through continuous evaluation and rewards. Our coaching ensures you stay accountable and supported, turning your ambitions into tangible achievements.


Setting goals is an integral part of both personal and professional growth. However, not all goals are created equal. The difference between a vague aspiration and a tangible achievement often lies in how those goals are defined and pursued. Enter the SMARTER framework – a robust strategy designed to turn your ambitions into actionable, attainable outcomes. In my coaching practice at Decisive Leadership, this method forms the backbone of our goal-setting approach, ensuring our clients can navigate their paths with clarity and confidence.

Understanding the SMARTER Framework

The SMARTER framework is an evolution of the classic SMART criteria, incorporating Evaluated and Rewarded into the mix. Let’s break down each component and explore how they contribute to effective goal setting.


Goals need to be clear and specific. Ambiguity is the enemy of achievement. A well-defined goal answers the questions of who, what, where, when, and why. For instance, instead of setting a goal to “lose weight,” a specific goal would be “lose 1 kg by the end of May.” This provides a clear target and a deadline, making it easier to focus efforts and measure progress.
In coaching, specificity allows us to tailor our strategies and support. When a client sets a precise goal, we can develop a detailed action plan, identify potential obstacles, and provide the necessary resources and encouragement to keep them on track.


A goal must have criteria for measuring progress. This could involve numerical targets, frequency, or specific milestones. For example, the goal “spend 4 hours per week with friends” is measurable because it provides a clear benchmark to strive for each week.

Measurability is crucial in coaching as it helps track progress and adjust strategies as needed. Regular check-ins and assessments ensure that clients stay on course and celebrate their successes, no matter how small. This consistent monitoring fosters a sense of accomplishment and motivates further efforts.


While it’s important to aim high, goals also need to be realistic and attainable. Setting unattainable goals can lead to frustration and demotivation. An achievable goal might be “save $50 per week” rather than an overly ambitious “save all of my pay every week.”

As a coach, I work with clients to set realistic expectations. This involves assessing their current situation, resources, and potential barriers. By breaking larger goals into manageable steps, we create a roadmap that is both challenging and attainable, fostering steady progress and sustained motivation.


Goals should align with broader objectives and values. A relevant goal is meaningful and significant to the individual. For example, “learn the guitar so I can play at my birthday next year” ties the goal to a personal event, making it more compelling and worthwhile.

In coaching, relevance ensures that goals resonate on a personal level. This connection to one’s core values and long-term aspirations enhances commitment and persistence. We delve deep into understanding our clients’ motivations and life goals to ensure their immediate objectives are aligned with their broader vision.


Every goal needs a deadline. Time constraints create a sense of urgency and help prioritise tasks. A time-bound goal such as “finish that management book by Friday” specifies when the goal should be achieved, aiding in time management and planning.
Coaching involves setting timelines and deadlines to keep clients focused and accountable. We use these deadlines to structure sessions and progress reviews, ensuring that each step towards the goal is timely and purposeful. This structured approach helps maintain momentum and prevents procrastination.


Evaluation is a crucial addition to the traditional SMART framework. Regularly assessing progress towards a goal allows for reflection and adjustment. Asking questions like “How well did I achieve?” and “How will it impact the future?” provides insights into what’s working and what needs improvement.

In my coaching practice, evaluation is an ongoing process. We regularly review goals, assess outcomes, and tweak strategies to better suit evolving circumstances and insights. This iterative process ensures that goals remain relevant and achievable, and that clients continue to grow and learn from their experiences.


Acknowledging and celebrating achievements, no matter how small, is vital for maintaining motivation. A goal that is not rewarded may feel unimportant or not worth the effort. Therefore, incorporating rewards into the goal-setting process is essential. This could be as simple as treating oneself for meeting a milestone or acknowledging progress in a meaningful way.
Rewards in coaching serve as powerful motivators. They reinforce positive behaviour and provide tangible recognition of effort and success. We encourage clients to set up a reward system that aligns with their personal values and preferences, ensuring that every step forward is celebrated and appreciated.

How Decisive Leadership Can Help

At Decisive Leadership, we integrate the SMARTER framework into our coaching methodology to help clients set and achieve their goals with precision and confidence. Here’s how we can support you in this journey:
Personalised Goal Setting: We work with you to define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, evaluated, and rewarded goals that align with your personal and professional aspirations.

Strategic Planning: Our coaching sessions are designed to develop detailed action plans, identify potential obstacles, and create strategies to overcome them, ensuring steady progress towards your goals.
Continuous Evaluation: We provide regular assessments and feedback to help you reflect on your progress, celebrate your successes, and adjust your plans as needed.
Motivation and Support: We understand the importance of motivation in achieving goals. Our coaching includes setting up a reward system that keeps you inspired and acknowledges your efforts and achievements.
Accountability: We help you stay accountable to your goals through regular check-ins, progress reviews, and supportive coaching sessions.

The SMARTER framework is a powerful tool for setting and achieving goals. By making goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, evaluated, and rewarded, you create a clear and actionable roadmap for success. At Decisive Leadership, we are committed to helping you harness this framework to unlock your potential and achieve your ambitions.

Whether you’re looking to advance in your career, improve your personal life, or both, our coaching services are here to guide and support you every step of the way. If you’d like to download the S.M.A.R.T.E.R Cheat Sheet, click here.

Take your success to the next level with Decisive Leadership today, and let us help you transform your goals into achievements.