Goal Setting Strategy Better Than SMART Goals?

Antony C.
3 min readFeb 7, 2021

Getting from SMART to FAST Goals setting.

The conventional wisdom is to set SMART Goals — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This is the golden standard of goal setting unchanged for decades.

Super successful people set goals using the SMART Goals system.

But in this ever-changing environment, SMART goals setting is conventionally done once a year. More importantly, seldom do we ask this fundamental question,

“Does it still work?”

Donald Sull of MIT suggests that SMART Goals are outdated, and not as efficient in turning strategy into results.

“When SMART Goals are not so smart, we should use FAST Goals instead.”

Fast Goals Chart

What are FAST Goals?

FAST Goals is one of the best alternatives to SMART Goals. Integrated into your personnel life, or organization’s objective setting.

FAST Goals setting is the natural evolution for a rapidly changing environment.

FAST is the acronym for — Frequent discussion, Ambitious, Specific, and Transparent.

This goal-setting methodology emphasizes the alignment with strategic priorities between parties when pursuing the goal.

FAST Goals enable course corrections as circumstances change.

How to write FAST Goals?

When learning how to write FAST goals, 4 elements should be found during your goal setting.

  1. Goals should be Frequently discussed to enable course corrections due to changes.
  2. Goals should be Ambitious so that we can always improve performance.
  3. Goals should be Specific and can be measured so that we can identify what is working and what is not.
  4. Goals should be Transparent for everyone involved so that we can remove activities that are unaligned with our goals.

Frequently Discussed

FAST Goals have to be frequently discussed to evaluate the progress. With a link to feedback on potential improvement opportunities, these frequent discussions allow you to focus on what matters. This…

Antony C.

Career & Personal Finance. I write to change lives. Founder and Serial Entrepreneur.