How to design SMARTER Objectives?

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What is an objective to start with?

Objectives can be defined as action-oriented and tactical measures to put in place in order to achieve the expected end results and desired outcomes needed for the protection of the Stake. There are many ways to set and express Objectives.

Yet, one of the most effective ones is using the SMARTER Objectives framework.

Which relationship between objectives and Flow states?

According to Dr. Csikszentmihályi Mihaly, a psychologist and pioneer of positive psychology, achieving a Flow state requires the following conditions:

  • Clear goals and objectives;
  • Immediate Feedback;
  • A balance between opportunity and capacity.

As a matter of fact, for an individual to achieve a Flow state, the performance required of him must be related to his actual level of competencies. If requirements are too high compared to the individuals’ level of competencies, excessive excitation/activation occurs, resulting in stress, anxiety, and fear conditions. On the opposite, if these requirements are too low, excessive relaxation occurs, resulting in boredom, inattention, and loss of motivation.

SMARTER Objectives answer the three previously stated conditions, by providing equilibrium between the level of challenges to the individual’s comfort zone and his competencies.

Our SMARTER Objectives refer to objectives which are:

S Specific & Simple
M Meaningful
A Ambitious
R Reasonable
T Trackable
E Ecological
R Rewarded & Rewarding


How to design SMARTER Objectives?

More details in the following infographic:

From a pragmatic point of view, these Objectives should be expressed in a positive form, avoiding negation, and using action verbs (for example: achieving, attaining, reducing, increasing, etc.).