Accomplishing your goals and completing projects all begin with this SMART goals template. Refining your goals according to the SMART goals guidelines helps you create practical, achievable goals that move you towards your ultimate end goal.
Often when people set goals, they fall into the common pitfalls of setting hope and dreams as goals or goals that don’t actually move you towards your ultimate goal.
Using the format of this SMART goals template helps you create goals that are useful in directing your actions and investment of time, effort and money towards achieving your priorities.
The SMART goal format works well for both personal goals, professional goals, team goals and project completion.
What does SMART Stand for?
The SMART in SMART goals is a catchy acronym to help you set useful goals that are actually attainable and compatible with your priorities.
It stands for:
- S – Specific
- The goal needs to be clear and precise.
- M – Measureable
- The goal needs to be measurable so that you know when you have achieved it or how much farther you have to go to achieve it.
- A – Achievable
- Goals need to be something that can actually be achieved. The goal may be a stretch that requires work and effort, but it should be actually, realistically be achieved.
- R – Relevant
- The goal need to contribute to your personal values and mission or business mission.
- T – Time Bound
- You need to set a realistic time frame to accomplish the goal.
Often projects or long-term goals need to be broken down into smaller goals. If you find that your goal cannot fit into the format of the SMART goal template, consider breaking the larger goal down into smaller goals that can harness the power of the SMART goals format.
Smaller SMART goals then work together to move you towards achieving your larger long-term or ultimate goal.
How to Use SMART to Set Personal Goals
Many people set personal goals that are not achievable. They set goals that are actually wishes or are not realistic.
For example, I’d love to be 5’7″ tall, but no matter now hard I work at it, I will never achieve that goal.
The purpose of setting a goal is to help you focus your time, effort and financial investments to move your towards your ultimate goal.
For example, if I’d like to retire at age 35, I need to set goals that are realistic and move me towards making retirement at 35 years of age possible.
SMART Goals Template
How to Use the Template
Print out the SMART goals template below.
Devote 10 – 30 minutes for the goal setting worksheet. Allow an uninterrupted block of time so that you can purposefully create a practical SMART goal that will help you plan for and achieve your ultimate goal.
Use the instruction sheet to help you determine each aspect of your goal.
You may find that you need to do research or consider your options before finalizing your goal. Take as much time as you need to make your goal a SMART goal.
You may also find that as you work towards accomplishing your goal, you find that you need to make adjustments to the time frame or other aspects of your goal. That’s fine. Establishing a SMART goal doesn’t mean it’s written in stone, it’s intended to give you direction and motivation to accomplish your goal.
Your goal should be clear and specific.
For example, rather than setting a goal of “getting rich,” a specific goal would be “to have $500,000 in the bank.”
Answering the following questions will help you create a specific goal:
- Who? – Who is involved in the goal?
- What? – What do you exactly want to accomplish?
- Where? – Where is the location of your goal? This may not always apply to your goals.
- Which? – Which resources and skills will you need?
- Why? – Why do you want to accomplish the goal? Why is it important?
Your goal should be measurable so that you can track your progress and determine when you’ve achieved the goal.
For example, rather than “I want to get fit,” the goal “I want to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes” is a measurable goal.
Some goals are more difficult to measure, but you can find ways to turn qualitative goals into measurable ones. For example, rather than the goal of “be happy”, you can set “have 5 good days a week” as a measurable goal.
Set a goal that is realistic. That doesn’t mean it has to be easy. Your goal should cause you to stretch yourself and be challenging. But do pay attention that your goal can be achieved.
For example, the goal of “fly like a bird” is unrealistic. However, “learn to pilot an airplane” or “learn to hang glide” would be possible to achieve.
Your goal needs to be in accordance with your overall mission and purpose.
For example, “own a flock of chickens” is not relevant if you live in a high rise apartment building.
Your goal should have a deadline or due date. This will serve to motivate you.
If your goal cannot be achieved in a determined length of time, it may mean that you need to further refine your goal and break it down into a smaller goal to build on.
How to Print the Template
- Download your copy of the free 2-page SMART Goals Template.
- Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get your copy of the free 4-page SMART goals worksheet set.
- Print out your goal setting worksheet.
- You can print the worksheet on computer paper or you may prefer to use heavier card stock paper so that it will hold up better to long-term use.
How to Set a SMART Goal
How could you make the goal “I want to be famous” a SMART goal?
Specific – I want to be famous on Instagram.
Measurable – I want to have 1 million followers.
Achievable – Are there other people with a million or more followers? Do I have an Instagram account, access to wifi and a suitable camera or phone?
Relevant – If you’re in the witness protection program, this wouldn’t be a relevant goal for you.
Time Bound – Set a realistic deadline. A month would not be realistic, but 20 years would not provide much motivation to move you towards achieving your goal.
Using this SMART goal template will help you work through the process of setting goals
Pin for later when you need to find this free SMART Goals Template or to share it with friends.