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How to write SMART goals

The second best practice is to define goals using a specific methodology known as “SMART” goals.  SMART is an acronym that stands for:


Target a specific area for improvement.


Quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.


The goal is within your reach to accomplish.


Assure that the results can realistically be achieved and that they matter.


Specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

This is a common model and a proven tactic. To the degree you can do this, you will be successful. Doing big things is hard. It’s one thing to know what you want or need to do, it’s quite another to actually get it done. This is particularly true for Big Goals and during times of stress. The value of SMART goals is that they focus your attention and efforts on realizing specific results that you visualize and accomplish.

First, start with your general goal. For example: Find a new job.

  • By taking a general goal and making SMART goals, you can break down the tasks you will need to accomplish to achieve that goal. You might end up making a few SMART goals to achieve a general goal.

What will you have to do to find a new job?

  • Take a look at your current assets and determine a job that is a good fit you at this point in your career.

Goal: Complete and write out a self-assessment that matches my strengths and interests to three potential job titles by this Friday.

  • Create or your job hunting materials like a resume and an email template/cover letter.

Goal: Update my resume and cover letter by Tuesday, ask for feedback from friends and finalize by Thursday.

By making these actionable and specific, you can then prioritize them and start achieving your larger goals.

Examples of SMART goals

Personal Goal:

– Exercise for 45 minutes per day three days per week.

Family Goal:

Example 3

Example 4

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