How To Set Goals, the Smart Way

No, I won’t be talking about SMART Goal setting. In fact, SMART Goals is probably the worst type of goal setting method out there, quite simply, it’s lame. It’s like goal setting for little kids. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you no longer need to get your parents permission to stay up late on the internet.

Goal setting is one of the greatest skills you can ever learn. By learning this skill, you’ll be able to achieve things that seem “impossible” or not within reach. You’ll build confidence, experience and character as you achieve more and more things.

I’ve seen the effect goal setting can do on ones life. At first, beginners can’t believe that they can achieve such as such. They don’t have any reference points or support network that demonstrates that things are achievable. Hence they enter a field where they are blind and have to rely on pure faith.

This is probably the most difficult part of goal setting. If you’ve never set a goal and achieved it, you’re working in the dark. You have no knowledge or experience and don’t know what to expect. My advice if you’re a newbie is to set that goal and do whatever you can to achieve it. Once you’ve achieved your goal, your brain records this experience as a “success template” whereby it will resume this template if you set another goal.

One of my big goals was to travel around the world. I’ve dreamed of travelling around the world but my belief had always been “it’s too expensive.” One day I decided to challenge that belief and see how much it would really cost. So I went to the flight agency and asked the lady “how much is a round the world ticket?” she said “it’s only $2,000” and I thought to myself “really? only $2,000? I can save for that!” I’ve always thought travelling around the world would cost you maybe $30,000.

So then I took out a piece of paper and worked out how much money I would need to save to pay for the around the world ticket. It turns out, I would need to save $7,000 to cover the ticket, tour and spending money. $7,000 would get me to Japan, China, all of Europe, America and in Sydney.

I then calculated how many weeks it would take for me to come up with $7,000. If I were to be super strict with my spending and focus on that one goal of flying around the world, it would take me approximately nearly a year of saving. I was working in a canteen at the time so I wasn’t earning that much money from mopping floors, pulling rubbish bins and flirting with that cute college chick.

Sure enough, over several months, I was able to come up with the $7,000. Not only that, I achieved my goal not in 12 months but in 4 months! I had a side web design business so I somehow got clients and that helped pay for my ticket. I guess that was the law of attraction at play where you have a desire and unseen forces come to your aid.

So did I use SMART Goal setting to achieve my goals? Nope. Why? Because it’s lame.

Here’s the smarter way to set goals.

Burning Desire

It doesn’t matter what technique you use to set goals, if you don’t have the passion and drive to achieve your goals, you’re not going to get anywhere. Someone will just say “boo” and you’ll quit. So what drives you to achieve your goals? Is it the piling letters from the government threatening to take away your house? Or is it your wife who’s starting to flirt with the rich guy next door?

Whatever your reason, if your desire is strong enough, you’ll overcome any obstacles that lay in your path and no one, including me can stop you. Maybe I can, who knows.


Just like alcoholics, they have a moment of clarity. You need this in your life if you want to get anywhere. Clarity is knowing exactly what you want, the steps in order to get there and how long it will take to achieve it. Fuelled with your burning desire, you’ll use that energy to go ahead and achieve the thing that you want.


Finally, you need to become a nerd and do your calculations. Yes pull out that dusty calculator and work on some numbers. How much does this dream cost? Once you know how much it costs, figure out how long you will need to save up for it and then pull the trigger. I know it sounds so simple and easy but that’s how you do it.

You don’t go through the lame method of SMART goals and then impress people with your knowledge of the abbreviated words. You simply follow those 3 keys steps and that’s it, you’re done, you’re flying around the world.


I just recently published a new book on Amazon called “The Goal Setting Playbook : How To Achieve Big Goals and Transform Your Life”. Read this book and master this powerful skill and I’ll see you on the beach on some exotic location somewhere in the world.

Stay Strong and Be Relentless.

Khoa Bui

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Author: Khoa Bui

Khoa Bui is an author, trainer and chief editor of YouBeRelentless. He enjoys reading books on self development, success, productivity, money, relationships and leadership. When he's not writing, he likes to enjoy a glass of red wine with a fine cuban cigar while watching the entire season of Entourage. You can check out Khoa's work at

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