SMART Goals Are a Great Way to Remember How To Write Your Goals!

SMART goals were first used in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran. It is a mnemonic used to set goals for variety of applications. It is a very useful term with effective goal setting as well.

SMART is an easy way you can remember to use all of the parts of a goal when developing your goals. There is also a derivative of the mnemonic called SMARTER which adds two additional parts to each goal. These additional parts are great for improving your goal writing process.

Goals guide you down the road in the straightest line possible. They motivate you, direct you, and set a time limit that it should take to achieve a certain objective.

How to Write Goals Using the Acronym or Mnemonic SMART

S - Specific

M - Measurable

A - Attainable

R - Relevant

T - Time-Bound

The word Specific means that your goal needs to be direct without any ambiguities. General goals are not enough to effectively motivate you to want to take action on the goal.

In order to figure out your specific goal, you must answer the five "W" questions:

  • What - What do You Want to Accomplish?
  • Why - Why do you Want to Accomplish This Goal? The specific reasons, purpose, or benefits of accomplishment.
  • Who - Who is involved with this goal?
  • Where - Where Will This Goal Take Place?
  • Which - Which requirements and constraints will you have to adhere to?

The next word Measurable refers to the concrete need for a way to measure your progress toward achieving the goal. How will you know if you are making progress or not if you don't have some kinds of measures in place to tell? A measurable goal answers questions like:

  • How much of the goal is complete?
  • How will many wickets of the goal are met?
  • How will you know when the goal is accomplished?

The word Attainable in SMART goals stresses the great importance that a goal be attainable and realistic. You want challenge in place to stretch your bounds beyond your current reality, but don't stretch it so far that you can't possibly achieve it.

The SMART goals word Relevant puts into play that your goal must be relevant to your primary purpose. If the goal has absolutely nothing to do with your purpose in life (or the overall goal in life), then is it really worth shooting toward that goal?

The last word in the original SMART goal is Time-Bound. This term shows the importance of setting a time frame to every goal. This acts as a key focus point so all efforts can be directed to completion on or before the due date. It instills a sense of urgency as it nears a deadline and forces more focus upon that particular goal.

For an extended version of the mnemonic SMART Goals, learn what SMARTER goals are to help you create the most powerful version of your stepping stone goals.

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