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. So what does SMART goal stand for?

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 leaders to write management goals and improve the overall performance of the business through time-based, measurable goals.

The SMART acronym is a method that encourages you to think of these 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?

Using these five attributes you'll find your goals become much more targeted and well-constructed, giving you a clear framework for achieving your objectives.


Setting SMART Goals

To get you started with creating your own SMART Goals, download our super easy SMART Goals template:

smart goals template word

SMART Goals Examples

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.

So where do you begin? Here are some examples of SMART Goals, and below we show you how to write a SMART goal in practice:

what do smart goals stand for

If you want to find out more about the SMART goals check out our Essential Guide to SMART Goals to gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

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