How to Create SMART Financial Goals – Are They Relevant?

Having a goal is a great motivator but it still needs structure if you don’t want to be another statistic in the failed goals category. Making your goals SMART is one way to organize your goal to help ensure success.

We’ve looked at making a goal specific, making sure the goal is measurable, and looking to see if the goal is attainableNow we will look at how relevant your goal is.

When looking at the relevancy of a goal, we’re asking ourselves how important the goal is in the grand scheme of things?

Is the energy we’re going to put towards this goal the best use of our time and resources or is there something else that may be better?

If your goal is to be healthier then perhaps a goal of doing a hundred sit-ups isn’t as important as eating less fast food?

We’ve been using the example of getting rid of credit card debt.  Certainly a worth-while goal, no?  But is it always the most relevant?  Depends.

What kind of credit card debt is this?  Is it zero interest for a time period?  Is it relatively low interest?  What other debt do you have?  Is there someplace else we can put our energy that may yield better long-term results?

What is the other debt you have?  Do you have private student loans that have a higher interest rate than your credit card(s)?  What is the rate on your home mortgage?  How about any car loans?  Would you do better working on something else first before your credit card debt?

Maybe instead of looking to eliminate your credit card debt you would be better suited to work on your career?  Perhaps a career goal would help you make more money that would make paying off credit card debt easier?

The point here is to look at the goal you have and seeing where it fits into your life and whether it’s the best use of your energy.  Make sure what you want to achieve is relevant.

The next part of the series discusses how a goal is Time-Bound.

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Published or updated December 11, 2014.


  1. Goals are personal and they should be. They are personal choices, the ones an individual finds is important to them. Are they relevant? To that individual, the answer is yes. Are they the best choices? I do not want to evaluate that because it depends on the result.

    • I don’t think all goals are relevant. It’s an important question a person needs to ask themselves. We often spend a lot of time chasing after things that aren’t the best use of our time and then we wonder why we don’t accomplish what we want to.

  2. Great goal setting post. I think it’s a good idea for most people to step back and really think about their goals. Chances are, the goal they set for themselves is really not what they want. If they wanted it so bad, they would have to attempting the goal all year, not just when the new year rolls around.

What Do You Think?