Making Goals SMART


Science has shown that goals should be SMART, which often (but not always) stands for:

Time Bound

Download a free SMART goals printable worksheet to make your goal SMART:


  1. Specific – Use this helpful formula at How to Make Goals Specific & Measurable.
  2. Measurable – Break goals down into action steps.
  3. Attainable (or Actionable) – Choose actions to take. Goals should be just the right size, with a bit of challenge and stretch, but not so out of reach as to be unrealistic.
  4. Relevant (and Rewarded) – Choose goals that are meaningful to you, and rewards for progress.
  5. Time Bound (or Targeted) – set target dates based on the size & difficulty of the goal.
  6. Even SMARTER goals are also Evaluated & Reviewed. –  Evaluate goals to be sure they align with your values and that you are still excited by them. Keep your goal master list visible and visual. Monitor progress with Reviews: weeklymonthly, and an annual review.

Types of Goals


A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. Usually a resolution is a habit you want to create and maintain indefinitely. There is no end point, as they are on-going actions that you intend to continue. Once they become a habit, they are easier to maintain and require less attention. Are Your Resolutions SMART?

timetargetA goal is an aim or desired result with a clear end point, so you know when it has been accomplished.

Examples of different goal frequencies:

  • daily: I will drink eight glasses of water every day.
  • weekly: I will increase time with family by spending at least 30 minutes each week one-on-one with each person doing an activity of their choice.
  • monthly/yearly: I will save $1200/year by making a $100 deposit in my savings account every month and track with a chart to reach the target date of twelve months from today.

Choose a habit tracker or goal charts for tracking progress according to frequency.

Learn more about How to Set Goals and find lots of free printables at the Goal Toolkit.

I like this take from Cal Wick that describes the process of setting goals in the book “The Learning Edge”:

Select a goal
Map out the work required
Act on the plan
Review and evaluate
Target the next goal

I’m also liking the HARD goals idea from Mark Murphy:

H – Heartfelt: Connect to your why.

A – Animated: Keep Goals Visual and Visible.

R – Required: goals that are important and necessary.

D -Difficult: goals that push the boundaries of our comfort zones provide the right amount of stretch.

These are all elements that aid us in achieving flow.

Read more about SMART Goals:

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in goals
10 comments on “Making Goals SMART
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  3. […] new and improved Annual chart for weekly goals (doc)  This form is for measuring progress toward a SMART goal like this […]

  4. […] a goal chart based on whether the goal is daily, weekly, or monthly. This will help keep your goals SMART and visible and […]

  5. […] 1. Review organization mission statement/goals 2. Review job description/duties 3. Generate ideas for goals that will add value 4. Make them SMART […]

  6. […] SMART Goal to meet someone: I will go someplace new and start a conversation with a new person who […]

  7. […] SMART. If you’ve read anything about goals at all, you probably have seen that they should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time […]

  8. […] principles are often described as S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. There are some variations on what the initials refer to, but often they stand […]

  9. […] generated ideas and evaluated them to select the best ones. You made a written plan to make them SMART with specific action steps, rewards selected and target dates set. Now comes the critical part: […]

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