What are SMART Goals?

What Are SMART Goals and Why Do I Need Them?

Why is it important to set SMART goals?

You might have heard of the quote ‘a dream without a plan is just a wish’. Not only does this ring true but setting SMART goals isn’t about just creating a plan but setting a clear intention for how this will be achieved with a date in mind to help keep you accountable.

SMART goals can be broken into efficient and practical steps to implement both professionally and personally. As someone that practices this myself, I can testify to how easy it is to set up, implement and use.  Follow these steps below to adapt and start setting SMART goals for yourself…

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific

  • Measurable 

  • Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Time-Bond

Now let’s look at each criterion in more detail…

  • Specific – Make your goals specific and narrow. The clarity in your goals will refine how you think about them and set smaller tasks to achieve this. It will simplify how you achieve this and easy to identify what this will look like.

  • Measurable – Define what evidence will prove you’ve made progress. Will the results be instant or will the goal show small progress over time? Booking appointments or reminders in your calendar can help check to see how you are tracking along with your SMART goals.

  • Achievable – Make your goal realistic and reasonable to accomplish. It’s easy to get enthusiastic and overlook just how achievable it is especially in a set amount of time. Try breaking larger tasks into smaller parts.

  • Relevant – Your goals should align with your values and long-term plan. What impact will this have on your short or long-term direction?

  • Time-Bound – Set realistic expectations around deadlines and prioritisation. Keep in mind events and other commitments which may impact this.


Here is our SMART goal example:
This trimester I will access support to develop my assessment planning and writing. I will use Schedule Assist in Week 1 and Assignment Help in Week 8.

This goal is easy to understand, progress can easily be measured, it is achievable, relevant to the bigger picture of study outcomes and it has a set time structure to help keep you accountable.

To help you set your own SMART goals, you can ask yourself the questions in the chart below.

SMART Goals were created by George Doran, in collaboration with Arthur Miller and James Cunningham, in 1981.

Time to set SMART goals for yourself.
Now you know the significance, impact and importance of SMART goals it’s time to set some for yourself. Click on the button below to access and use our free SMART Goal Guide resource.

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