What do SMART goals stand for?

A SMART goal is an objective that an individual has set as part of their personal or job tasks. SMART goal setting helps you achieving your goals through setting a time bound action plan. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. It was first introduced by George T. Doran in 1981 to enable write management goals and improve overall performance of the business through time based measurable goals.

The SMART acronym is a method that allows you to think of specific attributes when setting your goals:

  • Specific: What is specific about your goal?
  • Measurable: How you are measuring your goal?
  • Achievable: Is your goal achievable? Within your reach?
  • Relevant: Is your goal aligned to your work and company objectives?
  • Time-bound: By when do you expect to achieve your goal? What is a time frame for this goal?

We have created a SMART goal template which you can download here:

smart goals template word

Below and example of the smart way to write goals in practice:

what do smart goals stand for

Setting SMART goals can help improve productivity, employee engagement and focus in an organization. It can further support personal development and the time management skills of an individual and a team. Furthermore, SMART goals can serve as an action plan to reach management objectives. SMART goals are widely used for project management as they can help a project manager to set clear goals.

If you want to find out more about the SMART goals check out our essential guide and gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic.


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