Creating SMART Goals

With the New Year upon us, it’s important to begin planning your personal and professional goals for 2013.  To be more successful, start with a solid goal and a plan.  Be realistic and have fun!  If your goals are too hard, you could be less likely to achieve them.  Enjoy the process and allow for mistakes.

Below you’ll find some tips on how to begin your goal-achieving strategy.  According to the Michigan State University Extension, try the “SMART” acronym for creating SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

What does each part of the acronym mean?

  • Specific – What exactly needs to be accomplished?  Who else might be involved?  Where will this take place?  Why do I want to accomplish this?
  • Measurable – How will I know if I have succeeded?  How many steps will it take to achieve this?
  • Attainable – Do I have the resources I need to make this happen?  Is this goal neither too easy, nor too hard for me to accomplish?  Will the steps I have planned help me reach my goal?
  • Relevant – Can I commit to this goal?  Will I not be able to reach another goal or do something else I want to do because I am working towards this goal?
  • Time-bound – When is the deadline?  When do I need to take action?

Setting SMART goals can help you decide if the goal is a good fit for you as it is, or if you need to revise it to ensure success.  It is often best to start with the “time-bound,” “specific” and “measurable” and then review them for being “attainable” and “relevant.”


“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
Norman Vincent Peale

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