Writing SMART Goals


Achieve your educational objectives with this management technique.

The term “SMART goals” was coined by in 1954. Since then, SMART goals have become popular with business managers, educators and others because they work.


If you have been to a business management class, you have likely have learned how to write goals and objectives in Drucker’s way: SMART.  If you haven’t heard about Drucker, you are in for a treat that will help you achieve what you want and be more successful, whether you are a teacher trying to help your students achieve, an adult learner or a person who seeks to achieve your dreams.
SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound


Writing SMART goals for yourself or your students is a simple process if you understand the acronym and how to apply the steps it prescribed, as follows:

  • “S” stands for specific. Make your goal or objective as specific as possible. Say exactly what you want to achieve in clear, concise words.
  • “M” stands for measurable. Include a unit of measure in your goal. Be objective rather than subjective. When will your goal be achieved? How will you know it has been achieved?
  • “A” stands for achievable. Be realistic. Ensure that your goal is feasible in terms of the resources available to you.
  • “R” stands for realistic. Focus on the end results you desire rather than the activities necessary to get there. You want to grow personally, so reach for your goal — but be reasonable or you’ll set yourself up for disappointment.
  • “T” stands for time-bound. Give yourself a deadline within a year. Include a timeframe such as a week, month or year, and include a specific date if possible.

A few examples of properly written SMART goals might be helpful here:

  • Research tuition reimbursement and enroll in a degree program before the next employee review period.
  • Complete a continuing education course in using spreadsheet software by June 1.
    You will sometimes see SMART with two “A”s — as in SMAART. In that case, the first A stands for attainable and the second for action-oriented. This is just another way to encourage you to write goals in a way that inspires you to actually make them happen. As with any good writing, craft your goal or objective in an active, rather than passive, voice. Use an action verb near the beginning of the sentence, and ensure that your goal is stated in terms you can actually attain. As you achieve each goal, you will be capable of more, and in that way, grow.
    Personal development is often one of the first things to get deleted from the priority list when life gets hectic. Give your personal goals and objectives a fighting chance by writing them down.
    Make them SMART, and you’ll have a much better chance of attaining them


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