SMART Goals: Examples and Template

It’s obvious: Goals are essential for growth in our personal lives, professional careers, and daily work. We are terrible at setting goals, it turns out.
A 2017 study by Project Management Institute found that 17% of projects fail. This is a significant number in a vast business world that is made up of projects. Surprisingly, 32% of those projects that failed outright in the study missed their goals.
You can also see a trend when you add the University of Scranton study that found that 92% of people fail to meet their New Year’s resolutions.
Why is this? Is it because we are too focused on achieving a goal? Are we not tracking our goals? Are the goals not clear enough
There are many reasons individuals and teams miss the mark. One reason is that we often set goals without fully exploring and benchmarking them.
Sometimes you might set goals but fail to achieve them. This doesn’t mean that your work is useless or that you aren’t good at your job. It’s important to be SMART when setting goals.
What are the SMART goals?
SMART goals are specific, measurable and achievable goals that meet the five criteria of the acronym SMART: Relevant, Time-bound, Relevant, Achievable and Specific.
These criteria will help you clarify your goals, set boundaries and think through strategies to help you achieve them.
How to write SMART goals
SMART goals are a framework that helps you create a measurable, achievable goal. They help you clarify what to do, how long it should take and when you can celebrate reaching your goal.
You can actually set expectations for your achievement and plan your path to achieving them by setting SMART goals.
When developing SMART goals, the most important thing is to remember the five key criteria. This is how to use each one to create solid SMART goals.
S stands for Specific
It is clear that if you are specific about your goal and do the work to uncover every detail, you will be able to remove any ambiguity that could prevent you from achieving that goal.
Knowing the details of your goal will help ensure that it is well-defined, well-intentioned and clear. This is your chance to get specific about the goal.
These questions will help you and your team get to the bottom of things.
What should be done?
Why are you pursuing this goal?
Who is responsible for the goal? Who’s responsible?
Where will this work have to take place?
Are there any restrictions on the work?
These questions will help you to arrive at a more realistic goal you are comfortable discussing with your team, stakeholders and management.
M stands for Measurable
A well-crafted goal doesn’t just specify what the goal is. It is also easy to quantify.
Find the best way to measure success. This can be done by tracking the total number of actions, percentages, dollar figures, or any other number that indicates movement towards your goal.
Are you having trouble coming up with numbers? You might need to rethink your goal.
A stands for Achievable
Experts will tell you to “Go for gold!” Although setting lofty goals is great advice, it’s important not to get too ambitious. It’s terrible when you fail to meet a goal. But it’s worse if you miss a goal that was never possible.
This step is a reality check to ensure that your goal is achievable. To ensure you don’t set yourself up for failure, look at your goal and then apply reality to it.
This is not an easy task, especially if your goal is to be aggressive, but you aren’t sure if you will be successful. Explore all options to assess the possibility of achieving your goal.