Making Goals SMART


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

Time Bound

Here’s how to set goals that are SMART:

Grab a Goal Worksheet and Goal Charts


  1. Specific – Use this helpful formula at How to Make Goals Specific & Measurable.
  2. Measurable – Break goals down into action steps.
  3. Attainable (or Achievable) – Not too big, not too small. There should be a bit of challenge and stretch, but not so out of reach as to be unrealistic.
  4. Relevant  – Choose goals that are meaningful to you.
  5. Time Bound (or Targeted) – have target dates set with rewards for accomplishing them.
  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.

Example daily goal resolution: I will drink eight glasses of water every day.

Example weekly goal resolution: 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.

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

Example monthly/yearly goal: 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 other method 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

Setting goals is indeed a smart skill! Download SMART Goals (pdf)

Are Your Resolutions SMART?

Read more about SMART Goals:

I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

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

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

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

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  6. […] 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 […]

  7. […] 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 […]

  8. […] 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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