Your Goals may be SMART, but are they PURE and CLEAR, too?

If you’ve ever been to some sort of personal development seminar (or any seminar where action is called for), there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of SMART goals. That is, “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.” However, have you heard of the less often mentioned PURE and CLEAR acronyms that seem to go hand-in-hand? Maybe it’s part of the “advanced” seminar course [tongue-in-cheek].

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be at a Barnes & Noble. As I was walking through the store, there was a book about decision-making that drew my attention (I’ll have more about this book in future posts). As I thumbed through the book, there were many familiar models/theories (SWOT analysis, etc.) and one of those was SMART goals. However, as my eyes glanced over the section on SMART goals, I noticed that there were two other acronyms: PURE and CLEAR. Intriguing.

I bet your wondering what the acronyms PURE and CLEAR represent? At the time, I certainly was. Without further adieu:

PPositively Stated







EEnvironmentally Sound



Now, one could argue that some of these overlap (ethical and legal or environmentally sound and ethical), but there certainly seems to be value-added in these two additional acronyms. Though, I don’t know how much incremental value is added. If you’re someone who’s never heard of SMART goals, I would certainly stick to that model to start with. However, if you’ve heard of SMART goals (and have used this method!), then I would think about adding PURE and CLEAR to your method of goal-setting.

[Note: I couldn't find a Wiki article on PURE and CLEAR, but I did find two resources that may prove to be useful. This first one appears to be a PPT slide in the form of a PDF with all the acronyms (including SMART). The second one appears to be a blog post from someone detailing what is meant by the acronyms for PURE and CLEAR.]

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