How to Create SMART Goals (Plus samples)

Setting SMART goals is a key strategy for developing and altering your career. You can organize your career path, determine what goals are genuinely helpful to you, and make significant changes appear more manageable by learning how to develop concrete, achievable goals. In this post, we define SMART goals, demonstrate how to write them, and provide samples of what they may entail for various professions.

How do SMART goals work?

By laying out a clear plan for how you will achieve where you want to go, SMART goals can assist you in establishing the career you desire. The letters SMART, which stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based, are an acronym. Goals that are meticulously planned, distinct, and trackable are created using the SMART model.

Goals that are overly ambiguous, aggressive, or inadequately stated frequently fail. A badly constructed goal might make you feel overwhelmed and impossible or be detrimental to your career. These issues can be resolved by setting SMART objectives. Whether you’re making goals for your personal or professional life, employing the SMART goal structure may build a solid base for success.

A goal that might be more precise is the declaration “I want to be involved in leadership.” This statement can be turned into a SMART goal that will help you take concrete actions toward your objective and even assist you in planning your career for the future. We show how to convert the above goal into a SMART goal in the section below.

SMART goal writing techniques

Create SMART goals by following these steps:

1. Keep the end in mind

It’s crucial to take your desired outcome into account when setting SMART goals. Take into account whether you wish to create, enhance, conserve, or reduce something. This kind of goal analysis might assist you in defining your objective more precisely.

2. Set up check-ins.

Making the initial objective might be exciting and perhaps inspire you to work more. The more time it takes to reach the goal, though, the more this early intensity and zeal may diminish. Setting progress checks is crucial to keep you on track and boost your motivation. To track your progress, consider specific indicators that are appropriate for your objective, and make a schedule that serves as a reminder of when to check-in.

3. Be specific

Be as specific as you can about what you hope to accomplish. Use precise names and language when defining your aim. This essentially serves as your statement of purpose and should address all inquiries regarding your ultimate SMART goals. The more specific your objective, the better you’ll comprehend and perceive the measures required to get it.

4. Make it quantifiable

Choose the proof you’ll use to demonstrate that you’re moving closer to your objective. Consider measures that will show if you are making progress toward your objective or whether you have veered off track and need to reassess and change your direction. For instance, if you want to work for a pharmaceutical firm as a sales director, you might track your success by the number of projects you’ve managed and the interviews you’ve had. You may follow your development successfully with numerous small victories along the road if you have demonstrable results.

5. Make it realistic

Possessing a realistic goal can motivate you and raise your chances of establishing future SMART goals. Additionally, setting a deadline-bound goal that you know you can achieve will help you stay motivated and concentrated. When determining if a goal is realistic, keep in mind that some may need you to acquire new knowledge or credentials. Make sure that any additional processes or criteria are reasonable within your timetable before you even start working toward the objective.

6. Make it applicable

When establishing SMART goals, take into account how they will affect your career and requirements. To save time, make sure your goals are in line with your beliefs and long-term ambitions. Ask yourself why you value the goal, how obtaining it will benefit you, and how it will advance your long-term SMART goals. By carefully considering the factors that led to the goal’s establishment, you may be reminded of the long-term benefits of the objective and motivated to pursue it.

7. Establish a time limit.

Having a deadline for a goal can help you stay motivated and comprehend certain parts of it that you might not have originally thought about. Consider reassessing how achievable your goal is if you haven’t achieved it by the deadline. You might even find that some conditions you need to reach your objective aren’t presently feasible at your present level; but, they might become more feasible in the future. Every time a goal isn’t achieved by the deadline, something new can be learned. Use this information to inform your future goal-setting.

8. Celebrate all victories

It takes time to accomplish a goal, therefore it’s crucial to recognize and appreciate any tiny victories or accomplishments along the road. To keep yourself motivated, include attainable targets in your timeline. You shouldn’t wait to celebrate until you’ve reached your ultimate objective; instead, you should take time to recognize each tiny victory along the way.

The benefits of SMART goals

Setting boundaries and outlining the tasks you must take, the resources you will require to get there, and the benchmarks that can show progress as you go are all done using the SMART goal structure. SMART goals are more easily visualized and maintained because of their specificity. You’ll have a better chance of accomplishing your objective quickly and successfully if you set SMART goals.

Examples of SMART goals

The following three examples demonstrate how the components of SMART goals function in real-world circumstances:

Sample 1

I will find an entry-level position in the government service within the upcoming 6 months, ideally with the Consumer Commission for Water.

  • Specific: The goal is clearly stated, right down to the desired organization. If the goal-setter gets a job in the public service with a company that is comparable to the one they want, it also leaves the possibility for course adjustment and re-evaluation.
  • Measurable: The number of applications, interviews, and employment offers can be used to gauge success. Even if one of the preliminary interviews doesn’t end in a job right away, the goal-setter can still enjoy the success of finishing the interview and see it as a valuable learning opportunity.
  • Achievable: It’s an entry-level position. This objective is appropriate if the person who set it meets the educational prerequisites for this particular department and succeeds on the civil service examination.
  • Relevant: The goal-setter desires a career in public service. An entry-level job with this company will open up more government jobs.
  • Time-based: The goal-maker has given themselves six months to complete this task.

Sample 2

I will apply for the position of health service manager at my hospital at the end of the year after completing the relevant training requirements.

  • Specific: The person who set the goals is quite explicit about wanting to advance to health system manager at their institution.
  • Measurable: By fulfilling the relevant training criteria, success can be evaluated. Every training requirement that is finished might be considered a modest success.
  • Achievable: The person who sets the objective is conscious of the qualifications needed to apply for this job.
  • Relevant: The person who established the objective intends to apply for a position in the same industry. This makes this aim significant because it will eventually lead to a superior position inside their current organization.
  • Time-based: The goal-setter has given themselves till the end of the year to reach their objective.

Sample 3

While still acting in my capacity as a restaurant manager, I wish to achieve a better work-life balance. I’ll accomplish this by gradually cutting back on my overtime hours. By the beginning of my next vacation, I hope to have cut back on Ten overtime hours.

  • Specific: The individual who set the objective is clear that they don’t want their career to alter, but they do think that cutting back on overtime will improve their personal life.
  • Measurable: The gradual reduction in overtime hours from week to week until the goal-vacation setters can be used to gauge success.
  • Achievable: The goal-setter will gradually reduce the number of hours worked until they attain their target.
  • Relevant: This will improve the goal-work-life setter’s balance without changing their position within the organization.
  • Time-based: The goal-maker has given themselves till the start of their vacation to complete their objective.


Whatever your goal is, big or small, you can achieve it if you understand how to establish goals using the SMART structure.

Frequently Asked Questions about SMART goals

  • Why create SMART goals?

Creating SMART goals keeps the project on track, assists in accountability and timeliness, and demonstrates that you are achieving your objectives.

  • What does the SMART goal structure entail?

A SMART goal satisfies all of the SMART acronym’s requirements, which are: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. 

  • What is the SMART strategy?

A framework for creating goals that are best practices is called SMART. A SMART objective ought to be time-bound, specified, measurable, achievable, and reasonable. An individual creates a road plan for a particular destination by creating goals.