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How To Write SMAART Goals and Objectives


Victory by George Doyle - Getty Images


George Doyle - Getty Images

Personal development is often one of the first things to get marked off the priority list when life gets hectic. It happens to everyone. Give your personal goals and objectives a fighting chance by writing them down. Make them SMAART goals and objectives, and you'll have a much better chance of attaining them.

SMAART goals are:

Research tuition reimbursement and enroll in a degree program before the next employee review period.

Complete a continuing education course in using Excel software by June 1.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: As long as you want.

Here's How:

  1. S stands for specific. Make your goal or objective as specific as possible. Say exactly what you want to achieve in clear, concise words.
  2. M stands for measurable. Include a unit of measure in your goal. Be objective rather than subjective.
  3. A stands for attainable. Be realistic. Make sure your goal is feasible in terms of the resources available to you. You want to grow personally, so reach, but be reasonable or you'll set yourself up for disappointment.
  4. The second A stands for action-oriented. Write your goal or objective in an active, rather than passive, voice. Use an action verb near the beginning of the sentence.
  5. R stands for results-oriented. Focus on the end results you desire rather than the activities necessary to get there.
  6. T stands for time-phased. Give yourself a deadline within a year. Be specific to the very day if you can.


  1. The term "SMART goals", with one A that stood for achievable, is believed to have been first coined by Peter Drucker in 1954. Since then, SMART goals have become as popular as KleenexTM, and you know what that means: they work. Peter Drucker gets the credit. You can find a biography on Drucker at www.peterdrucker.at/, as well as an interview and some of his texts.

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