Understanding your goals for the year is a must to stay on track in 2018. Research has shown that SMART goals are more effective than HARD ones, but both methods have their positives and negatives. It’s important to find what works best for you!
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“Hard goals vs soft goals” is a question that has been asked for decades. The difference between these two types of goals can be seen in their methods and how they’re achieved. Read more in detail here: hard goals vs soft goals examples.

How to Set HARD Goals vs SMART Goals Right Now

Taking Your Goals And Goal Setting to New Heights

The HARD goal-setting method is the subject of this essay. What are the differences between HARD and SMART goals?

There’s even an illustration of why combining the two ways can be the best option.

Key Takeaways on HARD vs. SMART Goals

First and foremost, both of these goal-setting methods provide an organized approach to creating your goals. Intended to increase your chances of accomplishing them.

HARD objectives, in my perspective, work best with transformational long-term Personal Objectives. Consider attaining a significant professional achievement.

SMART objectives, on the other hand, may be just as beneficial. The technique, on the other hand, performs better with more tactical objectives. And ambitions where your personal stake in their accomplishment is lower.

Implementing efficiency improvements for your employer’s firm, for example.

Furthermore, the two goal-setting stages may be combined for the optimum outcomes. They are therefore complimentary.

Finally, any procedure is preferable than none. When it comes to establishing goals.

So, choose the strategy that appeals to you the most. And it makes the greatest sense in your circumstances.

Then get down to business! Doing whatever it takes to attain your objectives.

Let’s look at the differences between HARD and SMART objectives now. So you may make your own decision. Which method is the most suitable for you?


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What Are HARD Objectives?

The letters HARD stand for the following.

  • Heartfelt
  • Animated
  • Required
  • Difficult

Let’s specify these components next. Then I believe you’ll see that visionaries function with HARD ambitions.

It’s a method in which one’s ideas aren’t permitted to restrict one’s options.


A sincere aim is one that you are passionate about. Because when you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to make it happen.


Bringing your ambitions to life in your head is what this factor entails. So, can you imagine how your life would be if you attain your goal?

Because if you can conjure up a powerful mental picture. You have a better chance of succeeding.

Do you ever fantasize about the future? And do you ever imagine what it would be like to achieve your goal?

If you answered yes, you are achieving your aim. This is accomplished by animating it.


When you believe that achieving a goal is a must. Your prospects of success have increased once again.

Set objectives that you are certain of. That success is essential.


True life change begins with achieving challenging objectives. They aren’t easy.

Make your objectives demanding yet attainable. On the other hand, it’s not impossible.

This is a choice that only you can make. Depending on how far you can push yourself.

Let’s talk about SMART Goals next…

What Are SMART Objectives?

The letters SMART represent for the qualities listed below. Consider the following while developing SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

This, in my view, is where vital tasks are completed. In pursuit of objectives.

A far more realistic method for making fantasies a reality.


The specifics are crucial to achieving a given aim. A goal becomes more explicit simply by itemizing and writing out what has to be done.


A Measurable objective is one that can be easily determined after it has been met. And there’s a method to quantify the achievement.


Making challenging objectives is quite comparable to this balancing act. But not to the point of setting yourself up to fail. By establishing an impossible to achieve aim.


For your present position, a meaningful aim makes sense. It is practical, and you have the means and talents necessary to achieve your goals.


Every objective should have a set time limit for completion. Setting a deadline instills dedication and urgency.

We now understand the components of each of these two goal-setting methods. Compare and contrast…

HARD vs. SMART Objectives

HARD objectives, in my opinion, are emotionally motivated. They signify something so deeply ingrained in you that it’s Difficult to let go of.

Ideal for determining and creating long-term personal development objectives. Changing careers, for example. Obtaining a high-ranking political position, for example.

SMART objectives, on the other hand, are results-oriented. They are precise, quantifiable, and have a specified deadline.

For instance, crafting the ideal resume.

For example, establishing objectives as a worker. Take, for example, a 10% cost reduction. 5 percent increase in manufacturing productivity That kind of thing.

Unless you are the business’s owner, that is. Is it possible to have a genuine objective of cutting spending by 10%?

I really doubt it. That isn’t to say it isn’t significant. Or you aren’t devoted to getting the job done. Absolutely not.

Consider HARD objectives to be life-changing experiences. It’s ideal for long-term employee growth.

Consider SMART objectives to be more tactical. Excellent for pushing oneself in more defined parameters.

Either in your professional or personal life. At work, for example.

Finally, the two systems may work in tandem. Particularly while you work on your long-term personal growth.

Here’s an example based on my own experiences…


Examples of Difficult Goals

The goal…

For a long time, I wished to escape the stress and burden of my finance and accounting employment. And then become a college professor.

The end outcome…

I started teaching college at the age of 50. After leaving behind my previous professional job life.

Here’s how my revolutionary objective fits into the HARD and SMART systems in retrospect.

Heartfelt. I was quite concerned about changing jobs. And they felt that doing so would lead to a happier, more balanced existence.

Animated. For a long time, I saw myself as a teacher. And I envisaged how my life and daily activities would be if it became a reality.

Required. My job was causing me to get anxious and worn out. My health had deteriorated.

I knew I needed to make a change for my health to improve. And a more rewarding and long-term way of living.

Difficult. I’d never taught before. And it’s been almost 30 years since I’ve been in a classroom or academic atmosphere. For me, this was a significant and challenging shift. I’m well out of my element.

So that’s an example of how to establish a HARD objective. As I previously said, big dreamers operate in these sorts of ambitions.

And there’s no problem with it.

The next step is to see how the SMART approach may help you achieve a HARD objective…

Making A SMART Goal Out Of A Difficult Goal

This is how I made my Difficult aim of becoming a college professor SMART…

Specific. At a nearby institution, I will teach college-level accounting and business courses. I need a master’s degree in business to satisfy the basic academic criteria for most teaching jobs.

Measurable. Making consistent progress on the master’s degree will be used to gauge interim success. And by establishing a job search strategy that focuses on local colleges and institutions.

My ultimate success will be determined by whether or not I get recruited to teach a class. Then I’ll gradually increase my course load.

Achievable. The aim indicated a challenging but possible adjustment. Others I knew had successfully shifted into teaching jobs.

Relevant. The transition was appropriate and natural. In the classroom, I’m putting my knowledge and expertise to use. I’m still working, but in a completely different role than before.

In addition, my wife and I had saved enough money to be able to make the switch to a lower-paying but more meaningful job financially. As a result, we had set aside the necessary funds.

Time-bound. I established a goal of completing a master’s degree in 18 months from the time I resigned. And I’m starting my first teaching job right after graduation.

So, using that as an example. I hope you can see how HARD and SMART objectives may work together.

Moving from a place of deep feeling. For ultimate achievement, tactical actions are essential.

If you want to establish some excellent objectives, now is the time. I’d like to make a recommendation. To stimulate your creative mind processes…

List Of Examples of Difficult Goals And Goal Categories

As a result, here are some additional HARD goal examples for your own goal setting consideration…

Personal Objectives

  • Discover your ideal life companion.
  • Relocation to another nation
  • Retire to a tropical paradise.

Goals For Your Career And Business

  • Obtain a master’s degree
  • Get the job of your dreams
  • Start a company

Financial Objectives

  • Make a million dollars
  • Become financially independent
  • Purchase a rental property.

For help with your Financial Objectives, be sure to check out the tools and resources at Goalry.

Specifically, to meet your specific budgetary requirements. And the objectives you should set to achieve them.

Fitness Objectives

  • Keep your desired weight.
  • Maintain a balanced diet.
  • Participate in a marathon

Okay. Before we conclude. Just keep in mind…

Consider the possibilities. And don’t let your ideas confine you. As you build and establish your objectives.

And here’s some additional information…

Mark Murphy’s book HARD GOALS

You may learn more about this subject in full. By reading the book, you can:

HARD GOALS: The Secret to Getting Where You Want to Go

Mark Murphy was the author. Author and expert on leadership and employee engagement in organizations.

Summary of HARD Objectives

Make your objectives Difficult.

  • Heartfelt
  • Animated
  • Required
  • Difficult

Make them SMART after that.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For the ideal complement to a long-term strategic goal for transformation. The tactical measures to achieving your goal are also included.

More Goals and Goal Setting Reading

For those who are interested, we offer a vast…

A Collection of Goals Articles

…for delving further into various sorts of objectives. As well as preparing them for success.

1629658693_67_10-Pros-and-Cons-of-Living-in-New-Hampshire-RightOn a whiteboard, the conclusion is written.

Disclosure & Disclaimer: I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial adviser, or tax professional. And I am not providing you with individual investment advice, financial guidance, or tax counsel. Furthermore, this website’s only purpose is information & entertainment. And we are not liable for any losses suffered by any party because of information published on this blog.

Finding The Perfect Balance Between HARD vs. SMART Objectives


If you are looking for a list of hard goals, then this article is perfect for you. It contains a list of SMART goals that can be achieved in the near future.

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