S.M.A.R.T goals
How to Make Your Goals Achievable

  Mar 11, 2018 -   read
  mindtools, goal, self-development

What does SMART mean? SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting. SMART has come to mean different things to different people, as shown below. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
    • Who: Who is involved in this goal?
    • What: What do I want to accomplish?
    • Where: Where is this goal to be achieved? Where is it located?
    • When: When do I want to achieve this goal?
    • Why: Why do I want to achieve this goal? Why is this important?
    • Which resources or limits are involved?
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
    • How much?
    • How many?
    • How will I know when it is accomplished?
    • What is my indicator of progress?
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
    • Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve the goal? If not, what am I missing?
    • How can I accomplish this goal? Have others done it successfully before?
    • How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
    • Is the goal realistic and within reach?
    • Is the goal reachable given the time and resources?
    • Are you able to commit to achieving the goal?
    • Does this seem worthwhile?
    • Is this the right time?
    • Does this match our other efforts/needs?
    • Am I the right person to reach this goal?
    • Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?
  • Time-Bound (timely, time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
    • When? Does my goal have a deadline?
    • By when do you want to achieve your goal?
      • What can I do six months from now?
      • What can I do six weeks from now?
      • What can I do today?

An example of how to set a SMART goal:

Item Description
Problem Many people are accessing our company website from their mobile devices. Since it’s not a responsive website, it provides a poor experience for customers.

Asking yourself the following questions:

Item Description
Specific I want to launch a mobile app to support my company business activities by the end of Q2, which requires involvement from software development, design, and marketing.
Measurable Creating a mobile app for our company will require a lot of resources. To make it worthwhile, I’d like to have 50,000 app installations within six months after launch. I’d also like to show a 5% conversion rate from customers using the mobile website.
Achievable The departments that will be involved have signed-off on creating a mobile app. I’ll need to manage the project and set milestones to keep everyone motivated and on target
Relevant Improving the customer experience on mobile devices is a core initiative for my company this year since this is mobile first era.
Time-Bound In order to achieve 50,000 app installations and a 5% conversion rate by the end of the fiscal year, the app will need to be launched by Q2 with a robust marketing campaign that should continue through the end of the year.

Some people even have expanded it to include extra focus areas, for example SMARTER, which includes:

  • Evaluate
  • Review


Dang Chien
Software engineer, aspiring entrepreneur and Agile advocate.
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