Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.

Writing effective objectives will help you get results, give staff priorities and create a clear course of action to achieve your desired changes. Objectives are typically 1- to 3-year action statements. Following this goal formula will help keep your team on track and achieving.

Specific: A specific objective will easily be able to answer Who, What, When, Where and Where questions.

Measurable: Objectives must be written so that you are able to determine your progress towards the objective as time goes on.

Attainable: Objectives should be written in a way that you have to work to achieve them, but are able to accomplish given past experience, market conditions, or your expectations.

Responsible person:* Accountability motivates the person the goal is assigned to take action and get it done. Without a person leading the effort, group assignments can often fall into inactivity.

Time-Bound: Objectives need to have time restraints placed on them. This not only helps measuring progress towards the objective, but with the overall evaluation of your campaign.

* There is an ongoing debate about what the “R” in S.M.A.R.T. should stand for. “Realistic,” “Results-bound,” and “Relevant” are also popular choices.

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Even More Resources…

More resources on this and other topics are available from Reno-based M3 Planning, a strategic planing firm and the authors of “Planning For Dummies.”

About the Author

- I am a recovering adrenaline junkie turned tech geek - I started out as a breaking news reporter and have since dove headlong into the wondrous world of website design, marketing and multimedia production.

Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T. Comment


  1. Kaitlin Godbey
    Mar 28, 2012

    This was such a great help to the board. Thanks for writing this down! I am printing this out ASAP!