SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Which it might be a great way to set goals, SMART Goals may be outdated.

In fact… I’ve got a friend who told me.

“I hate SMART Goals!”

If SMART doesn’t work for you, form a PACT instead.

Why Do Some People Hate SMART Goals, But Prefer PACT Goals?

When success is measured by SMART goals, people end up pursuing a narrowly defined success that reduces their ability to think out of the box.

Failure to meet the SMART goal will make them feel that they are a failure. Unable to see what they’ve already achieved, they will be demotivated and reduce their productivity.

Unlike other alternate goal-setting techniques, SMART goals only focus on the end results and not the journey.

PACT goals on the other hand can motivate them to achieve success.

PACT Goals, alternative to SMART Goals setting
PACT Goal Setting

PACT Goals, Powerful alternatives to SMART Goals.

PACT is a goal-setting technique that focuses on output, compared to SMART goals which focus on the outcome. PACT goals allow the user to track progress towards achieving a goal while making changes along the way.

PACT is the acronym for Purposeful, Actionable, Consistent, and Trackable.

Output focus instead of outcome focus, PACT goal setting can be better than SMART goals and it is one of the best alternatives to SMART goals.

How to write PACT Goals?

When learning how to write PACT goals, there are 4 things to consider.

  • Purposeful: Your goal will make an impact on your long-term purpose in life.
  • Actionable: The goal you set is based on the output you can control.
  • Consistent: The action you take is sustainable, you can continuously perform these actions to work towards your goal.
  • Trackable: Tracking is performed by simple means, it is a simple “yes” or “no” answer which helps guide you towards your goal.


Purposeful goals are goals that are set in view of the bigger picture. These are goals that are the building blocks of the long-term purpose in life.

Purposeful goals are not goals that are relevant to you right now but, become irrelevant in the future. Because it is much harder to stick to a goal if it is something you don’t really care about.

Purposeful goals are:

  • Goals that align with your passion.
  • Goals that play a part in your final objective in life.
  • Goals that you will feel motivated and start your day at work.

Example of Purposeful Goals.

I want to retire comfortably without financial worries.


Actionable goals are based on your ability and the output that you can control. It is about being realistic about what you are really capable of right now.

Actionable goals are:

  • Actions you can take today.
  • Actions that you can control.

Over planning is the reason for procrastination and not getting things done.

A shift of your mindset from the distant future to the present. where the output is something that you can control.

Example of Purposeful and Actionable Goal.

“I will save some part of my salary to prepare for my retirement, so I can retire comfortably without financial worries.”


Consistent goals are goals which is a marathon, not a sprint. These actions you set for your goals should allow you to continuously perform without the feeling of burnout.

Consistent goals are:

  • Actions that are sustainable.
  • Actions that you achieve and not feeling burned out. 

Instead of creating unrealistic goals that will make you feel like a failure if you do not successfully accomplish them. Goals that are consistent allow you to feel a sense of encouragement and accomplishment that motivates you forward.

Example of Purposeful, Actionable, and Continuous Goal.

“I will save 10% of my pay to prepare for my retirement, so I can retire comfortably without financial worries.”


Trackable goals are simple goals that simply give an answer of “yes” or “no”. It makes the process of goal setting much easier to understand.

Trackable goals are:

  • Have you done this? “Yes” or “No”.
  • Have you done that? “Yes” or “No”.

Unlike the complex process like Measurement from SMART Goals, PACT Goals uses, Trackable goals is like a simple checklist where it helps to track your progress in the simplest and most efficient way.

Example of Purposeful, Actionable, Continuous, and Trackable Goal.

“I will save 10% of my pay each month to prepare for my retirement, so I can retire comfortably without financial worries.”

PACT Goals Examples

PACT Goals Examples for Retirement

“I will save 10% of my pay each month to prepare for my retirement, so I can retire comfortably without financial worries.”

PACT Goals Examples for Finding a Job

“I will send out 10 resumes and cover letters each day to get a job fast, so I will become employed and can provide for my family again.”

PACT Goals Examples for Learning a New Skill

“I will learn 1 new Excel Shortcut key a day from the Excel cheat sheet to become better at working on Excel, so I will become more productive in my work.”

PACT Goals Examples for Weight Loss

“I will exercise 1 hour each day to reduce my weight, so I have a slimmer and better-looking body shape.”


PACT Goals is a technique useful in setting long-term goals that measure your output. This helps you to set realistic goals that help you feel motivated to achieve your goal.

SMART Goals is a highly versatile goal setting technique and can be useful for setting both short-term and long-term goals that measure your outcome. But this may lead you to set overly optimistic goals which you may not be able to achieve and result in failure to achieve your set goals.

Both PACT and SMART goal-setting strategies are great ways to set goals.

Each goal-setting strategy, SMART and PACT goals will suit different people with different needs.

Each goal setting is most effective when…

SMART Goals: This is a good way to set both short-term and long-term goals. SMART Goals is the golden standard for goal setting created in the 1980s that shows to be a somewhat effective way to set most goals.

PACT Goals: This is a great long-term strategy to set achievable goals that make you feel motivated. PACT Goals have the highest success rate in achieving your long-term goal.

PACT Goals, alternative to SMART Goals setting
PACT Goals
Alternative to SMART Goals


  • Do you think PACT is better than SMART Goals?
  • What other alternatives to SMART Goals do you know about?

PS. Have you heard of FAST Goals, check this new alternative to SMART goals as well.

Up Next… How to write SMART Goals the right way?

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