What Is a SMART Goal?
‘SMART’ is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable (or Attainable), Relevant, and Time-bound. SMART goals meet all 5 of these criteria — and, as a result, are strategic, focused, and actionable.
Let’s explore each characteristic a little further.
- Specific: The goal should be very precise with no room for misinterpretation.
- Measurable: The goal should be quantifiable, and progress should be easy to track.
- Achievable: The goal should be attainable — not outlandish or unrealistic.
- Relevant: The goal should contribute to your broader, overarching goals.
- Time-bound: The goal should have a defined start and end date.
Why Are SMART Goals Important?
Why use SMART goals? When you use the SMART goal framework, you rid yourself of confusion and gain clarity. Setting a SMART goal will help you understand exactly what you need to do (and when you need to do it) to achieve your desired outcome.
As Zig Ziglar, motivational teacher and trainer, once said, “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
On the other hand, if your goals aren’t SMART, they’re… well, dumb!
Seriously, goals that aren’t SMART are often more like wishes and resolutions — they feel good to make, but they’re virtually impossible to implement and achieve.
In short, you’re more likely to achieve your goal when you make it SMART.