Goal setting is the first step you should do if you are planning for success.

Everyone knows about SMART goals, but if a SMART goal is not wise, meeting your SMART Goals means nothing.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-driven, Realistic, and Time-bounded.

While there are many goal setting methodology, WISE goals is special.

WISE goals supplement the specific actions of SMART goals by connecting your goals to a broader picture of who you are and who do you aspire to be.

WISE Goals Diagram for Goal Setting

WISE is the acronym that stands for Written, Integrated, Synergistic, and Expansive.

How to Set WISE Goals?

Creating a bigger vision of WISE goals allows you to see how your actions help you move closer to your final goal.

  • W” stands for Written, Willpower, and Worthy
  • I” stands for Integrated, Initiative, and Inspiring
  • S” stands for Synergistic, Stamina, and Stretched
  • E” stands for Expansive, Enthusiastic, and Energizing


Written is to write down your goals is the first step you should take when setting your goals. Writing forces you to think and allows you to clear your mind to be focused on your purpose.

Written goals allow you to look at your plan objectively, making changes as required for you to reach your final goal.

Setting a goal by writing it down can have drastic changes on your mind

  • Create a start for your next action.
  • Instill commitment and follow-through in your planned actions.
  • Aid in your thought process which allows you to view a task objectively.

You can always revisit your written actions as you work on your goals. A visual representation of what you plan to do and what you’ve done allows you to know where you are now, and where you need to become.


Integrated is to put all your ideas together in the same place so you can look at them all at once. Sometimes each of the ideas might overlap each other in how they help in achieving your goals.

Having an overview of all the ideas in a single location, allows you to make an informed decision on your next course of action.

Integrating 2 or more ideas together can sometimes help you achieve your goal faster and more effectively.

Example of Integration with WISE Goals methodology

If your goal is to improve your quality of life by leaving a job that you hate, there are many things you can do to achieve it.

List of ideas to achieve a better quality of life:

  • Getting a higher pay by asking for a pay raise
  • Getting a job that allows you to work remotely
  • Getting a job that gives better benefits

One of the possible actions you can take is to find a job that pays you higher, allows you to have flexible working hours where you can work remotely, and gives you great company benefits.

By finding the right job, you are able to integrate all these “ideas” in just one action.


Synergistic is where your integrated goals can be brought together to make them work as one. It is to keep your final goal in mind when you plan your actions to take in achieving the goal. It is the ability to high two birds with one stone, where you will use less effort to achieve the maximum amount of results.

Creating goals with Synergy

  1. Keep the vision of what you want in mind.
  2. Understand the “Why” you want to have this vision.
  3. Understand the “What” are the actions you’ll need to reach that vision.
  4. Understand the “How” each action can help you reach your final vision.
  5. Create action plans where it flows toward the vision.

Good synergy will reduce your work and increase your result.

Bad synergy will increase your work and decrease your result.

Synergy is to understand that each action is built on the previous actions, it is the relationship where how each action affects the other.


Expansive is the ability to think big. Your goals should make you feel energized and enthusiastic about what you can potentially do. Your goal should be able to expand and inspire you to dream big and not limit your potential.

Expansive is the ability for your goal to change in time to grow with your capability into something more than you have ever imagined.

The goal of “improving your quality of life”, should be expanded to “getting a great quality of life”.

The goal of “saving $10,000 a year”, should be expanded to “being financially free”.

Expansive goals can be a small step to a greater goal, but they should grow as your capability grows.

Difference between WISE Goals and SMART Goals

The main difference between SMART and WISE goals is the ability to think out of the box. SMART goals make you spend too much time and energy on specifying a certain task which limits your potential and loses track of your final goal.

Goal Setting (Example)SMART GoalsWise Goals
ManagementEnsure all leadership teams attend the leadership retreat. Schedule a leadership retreat by end of DecemberTransform my team into empowering leaders
WorkLeave work by 6:00 pm. Organize my work task to be completed within working hours.Be in control of my life
FamilyWatch movies with my wife every Saturday and tell her I love her at least once a week. Starting from 1st of June.Fall in love with my wife again
Job SearchFind a job that pays $50,000, gives good benefits, and allows you to work from home. Start job search starting from next week on every weekend.Find a job I love
SMART Goals vs WISE Goals

SMART goals are specific, where WISE goals are visions of where you want your actions to take you eventually.

Goals should be both SMART and WISE

SMART goals are specific actions you take to achieve your goals, where WISE goals are visions of where you want your actions to take you eventually.

The best goals are both “SMART” and “WISE”.

SMART Goals give you the step-by-step actions you’ll need to take to reach the goal.

WISE Goals give you the meaning of why you want to take the steps in reaching the goal.


  • Do you think WISE can help you in setting your goals?

PS. Do you know you should use different Goal Setting Techniques in different situations?

Up Next… FAST Goals is arguably the best alternative to SMART Goal Setting

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