SMART Goal Technique, Setting Goals the Right Way

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SMART Goal Technique Checklist

Using the SMART Goal Technique to set and meet goals around your polymer clay work produce a real sense of accomplishment. A sense of accomplishment is very motivating.   Goals also give a sense of focus and direction.  But, it’s important to set goals the right way.  If you aren’t specific and realistic, goal setting can be a lesson in frustration. 

Bookmarks by Cynthia Gougian

Earlier this year, in Katie Oskin’s Polymer Clay Challenge 2020 Facebook group, Katie asked us to share our goals for this year.   I stated that my goal was one project a week from a tutorial, or my own design that is just for myself, not for one of the design teams I am part of. This was a good goal because it followed the S.M.A.R.T. goal technique

SMART Goal Technique

S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Let’s look at how my goal followed the S.M.A.R.T goal technique, so you can use the same technique to develop goals for yourself.

S = Specific

In the past, I made vague goals.  I may have said, that I wanted to make more projects for my own pleasure.  Being vague when developing goals leaves one without focus and direction. Stating that I wanted to complete exactly one project each week for my own pleasure is clear cut, and specific. 

M = Measurable

Faery House by Cynthia Gougian

It helps to include hard data in goals.  Things you can measure, so you know you are succeeding.  For example, if I had stuck with the goal of making more projects for my own pleasure how would I know if I were successful at the end of the year?  Would just one project for my own pleasure count as success?  Putting in the criteria of “one project” a week, allows me to evaluate my success (or failure) every week.  And, at the end of the year, if I have 52 projects then I’ll know I had 100% success!

A = Attainable

You’ll notice that I didn’t make a goal to create one project every day for my own pleasure.  I knew that wasn’t realistic, or attainable.   It’s easy to get overeager in goal making.  But, setting unattainable goals is discouraging. 

R = Relevant

My goal was very personal.  Very relevant to me.  Your goal must have value for you.  It must be something that motivates you.  Something you really want.  Recently, a student said she felt she should learn about resin because she saw so many using it.  But, she really wasn’t interested in using resin in her work.  So, she bought the supplies, used it once, then never used it again.

T = Time-Bound

Polymer Clay Earrings by Cynthia Gougian

Goals should have a deadline.  It’s another way to measure success. For me, the deadline is the end of each week.   If I have completed one project for my own pleasure by Saturday night, I know I can celebrate!   If you don’t give yourself a deadline, you might find yourself never completing a goal.  Without a deadline, you may just keep putting it off. 

How to Implement This for Yourself – Ask Yourself Some Questions

  • Do you set artistic goals for yourself?
  • Do you have any hints or tips around setting goals you like to use?

Come & join us for the 2020 Polymer Clay Challenge! The group is really unique! Members of the Polymer Clay 2020 group are challenged to create one new polymer clay piece per week. The group is a place to share those projects, and track your progress. It’s a great way to keep yourself motivated throughout the year! Please join us here!


Author: Cynthia Gougian

Cynthia is one of the year’s administrator’s for the 2020 Polymer Clay Challenge. She is incredibly devoted to the group and to her polymer clay art. Every Monday she writes us an inspirational message to keep the group inspired and creating throughout the week. It’s just one of the ways that she keeps all of us on task. This post one of the posts that she wrote for March of this year.


This post was originally published on Katie Oskin’s Free Polymer Clay Challenge 2020 Facebook group. Each week, I write a Motivational Monday Post for the group.
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