Guidelines for Setting SMART Goals

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Written goal statements should begin with “I will…” and should be SMART: S – Specific M – Measurable A – Action-Oriented R – Realistic T – Time Bound

Specific goals tell exactly what will be accomplished and what steps you will take. They are much more likely to be accomplished than a general goal. Instead of: I want to get in shape. Try: I will lose 10 pounds by 1) joining a health club and 2) exercising 30 minutes 3 times/week.

Measurable goals tell how many, how much, and how you will know whether or not your goal has been accomplished. Instead of: I will sell more. Try: I will increase sales by 25% for the fiscal year without increasing advertising spending.

Action-Oriented goals use action verbs and describe the exact activity you will do. Instead of: I will be a nicer person. Try: I will smile each time I greet a coworker.

Realistic goals are those you stand a reasonably good chance of accomplishing, given enough time and effort. Ask, “Am I willing and able to work for this?” Instead of: I would like to live in a mansion. Try: I will invest $100/month for the next 10 years for a “retirement home” fund

Time Bound goals include a specific deadline. Deadlines will increase your motivation, however they should not be “set in stone.” Instead of: I would like to go to Paris someday. Try: One year from now I will take a 10-day vacation to Paris