Tag: SMART Goals

SMART Goals Worksheet

SMART Goals Worksheet

The following SMART Goals worksheet is designed to help you effectively set personal goals for yourself.

SMART is an acronym used to effectively set goals. It is a simple tool to help create an actionable plan that gets results. There are several variants, but SMART usually stands for:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound


The criteria for SMART Goals Worksheet

Specific Your goal should be detailed and state the exact level of performance expected.
Measurable Your goal should contain a measurable indicator to assess the amount of your progress and to definitely determine if the goal has been achieved.
Achievable Your goal should challenge you and stretch your abilities, but realistically be able to be attained.
Relevant Your goals should be important to you and motivate you.
Time-bound Your goal should specify when the result(s) will be achieved.


Printable Version – SMART Goals Worksheet Printable


Step 1:

Write down your goal on one line.

My goal is to: ________________________________________________


Step 2:

Make your goal SPECIFIC by adding details. Answer the questions: who, what, where, when, and how.




Step 3:

Make your goal MEASUREABLE. Add measurements and tracking details.

I will measure/track my goal by using the following numbers or methods:


I will know I’ve reached my goal when ________________________________________________



Step 4:

Make sure your goal is ACHIEVABLE. What additional resources do you need for success?

Items I need to achieve this goal: ________________________________________________

How I’ll find the time: ________________________________________________

Things I need to learn more about: ________________________________________________

People I can talk to for support: ________________________________________________



Step 5:

Make your goal RELEVANT. List why you want to reach this goal:



Step 6:

Make your goal TIME-BOUND. Put a deadline on your goal.

I will reach my goal by the following date: ___/___/______.


Set some benchmarks to track your progress.

Date I will have accomplished…
___/___/______ __________________________________
___/___/______ __________________________________
___/___/______ __________________________________
___/___/______ __________________________________
___/___/______ I will have reached my goal___________



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Properly set goals can be great motivators for you. They can allow you to systematically achieve what you want to in your life. However, if not done properly, goal setting can have a negative effect. Improper goal setting can lower your motivation and your desire for achievement, and this can lead to frustration.

To be done right, you should ensure that your goals have some basic criterion. This basic criterion can help structure your goal so that is easier to achieve.


Setting SMART Goals

A lot of people have goals like, “I want to get in better shape.” Six month later, they wonder why they are not in better shape. They would be better off if they created SMART goals for themselves. SMART is an acronym used to effectively set goals. It is a simple tool to help create an actionable plan that gets results. There are several variants, but SMART usually stands for:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound



The criteria for SMART Goals

Specific – Your goal should be detailed and state the exact level of performance expected.

Measurable – Your goal should contain a measurable indicator to assess the amount of your progress and to definitely determine if the goal has been achieved.

Achievable – Your goal should challenge you and stretch your abilities, but realistically be able to be attained.

Relevant – Your goals should be important to you and motivate you.

Time-bound – Your goal should specify when the result(s) will be achieved.



Different Variations of SMART

As indicated above, the SMART acronym has a number of slightly different variations. Different sources use the letters to refer to different criterion. Below is a table listing the most common association as well as some alternatives.



Specific means precise and detailed. Make sure your goal specifies what exactly needs to be done. Make sure they are precise and clear, rather than overly broad or ambiguous. For example, a specific goal might be “I will go to the gym and workout four days per week dedicating one hour each day to cardio and one hour to weight training” versus, “I will get in better shape.”

Below is a chart illustrating broad goals compared to a more specific goals.


Specific goals will also include some other elements of SMART goals such as being measurable and time-bound. For example, you may create a goal that states “I will eat 2 pieces of fruit and 3 different types of vegetables each day, and I will not eat junk food for 2 months.” This goal has measurable and time bound elements as well as being fairly specific. As you become more adept at creating goals, they should become more specific. Ultimately, your goals should be well-defined and focused. The more details the better.




SMART Goals should include numeric or descriptive measures that are quantifiable. It is important for you to know when your goal has been successfully reached. For example, a measurable goal might be “I will lose 10 pounds”, versus “I will to lose weight.” With the measurable goal, you are able to determine when you have hit your target.

Also, by using measurable quantifiers, you are able to determine whether you are making progress toward successful completion of your goal. For example, if your goal was to lose 10 pounds, and you have lost 5 pounds, you know you are half way to your goal.

When making a goal, establish concrete criteria for measuring your progress toward the attainment of the goal you set. Focus on elements such as observable quantity, quality, efficiency, or actions to measure outcomes.




Achievable means it is not just a hope or dream, but it is within your reach. Your goals should be ambitious, but realistic. The best goals require you to stretch your abilities, but not so far that the goal cannot be attained.

A significant part of determining if a goal is achievable is considering if it is possible to complete it within the fixed amount of time. For example, to lose five pounds may be achievable, but to lose it within a week may not be. However, if you break your ultimate goal down you will have better control and influence on it.

It is important to find the right balance when setting your goals. Goals that are set too high or too low become useless and meaningless. If they are set to high, you may be discourage and give up. If goals are set too low, you are not going to be motivated or reach your full potential.

You may set a goal to run 5 miles in less than 30 minutes by the end of the month. However, if you are just starting to run and get in shape, this may not be attainable. And if you feel a goal is not attainable, you may give up on completing it. Instead, if you set your first goal at running 2 miles in less than 20 minutes, and then slowly raise the bar, you will better maintain motivation and stay on track to reach your ultimate goal.




Relevant means it matters to you and what you want to achieve. Choose goals that are important to you.  If being in better physical shape matters to you, set a goal that specifies what you will do to get in better shape. However, if being in better shape does not really matter to you, you probably want to set a different goal. If it does not matter to you, you will probably not be motivated enough to achieve it.

Goals that are relevant to others such are spouse, parents, or friends, may not be relevant to you. Often times people set goals because some else is setting the same goal or recommends the goal to them. If you arbitrarily set a goal or decide on a goal because of other people’s influence, the chances of you achieving that are fairly slim. Even if you have the time, money, and skills, you still most likely will fail because your heart is not in it.

The goals that you choose should matter. They should motivate you and drive you forward.




Time-bound means the goal is not open-ended, but there is a timeframe for completion. These goals have an end point that can be found on a calendar. All your goals should specify a definite target date for completion. A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on completion of the goal on or before the set time. Instead of “I will lose 15 pounds,” a time-bound goal might state “I will lose 15 pounds in two months” or “I will lose 15 pounds by June 1.”

Timeframes tied to your goals provide a sense of urgency to help keep you moving towards it. With no time frame tied to it there is no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 15 lbs., state when you want to lose it by. This will set your conscious and unconscious mind in motion to begin working on the goal.




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SAFE Goals


SAFE Goals

One of the most common goal setting techniques is termed SMART.  SMART is an acronym which encourages individuals to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding or Realistic, and Time bound.  This advice for setting your goals usually works well, but it may not be the best process for you to use.



Right Brained Goal Setting

If you are more right-brain, creatively oriented you may want to try utilizing the SAFE method.  SAFE is an acronym for a creative goal setting process especially useful for right-brain-oriented people.

SAFE stands for:

  • See it -See the end result
  • Accept it – Accept the end result
  • Feel it – Feel the end result
  • Express it – Express the end result


The Right Brain

The right side of your brain is more visual and focuses on the big picture.  Your right brain helps you think holistic, grasp total situations, gain insights, and be creative.  These aspects of right brained people are very powerful, so it makes sense that if you are right brained you use these attributes to set goals. If you are left-brained and you use this attributes, you will achieve more when you utilize your whole brain.


SAFE Goals


SAFE Goals


Start by creating a mental picture of the future as it will be when your goal is achieved. See it in great detail and full color.  Use all of your senses to become aware of the details.  See the colors, sights, sounds, and emotions of having achieved the desired goal.  See the results in your mind of having attained the goal.



Accept it means that you are opening yourself up to possibility and accepting that you can achieve the goal. You may not know all the details of how you will achieve your goal, but you are confident about achieving it.  You may have doubts and concerns, but focus on remaining open and accepting the potential.



Feel it has you to feel the emotions associated with attaining your desired goals. It is about mentally placing yourself to that time and place in the future and sensing those feelings associated with achieving your goals. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the desire to achieve the goal.

As you visualize yourself having achieved the goal, allow yourself to feel the accompanying emotions. Adding emotion to your visualization can be extremely powerful.  You should feel good about your accomplishment.



Use your powers of expression to create your end result.   Capture your feelings in words or visual expressions.  Write about it.  Describe in vivid detail every aspect of how your life will be after the goal is achieved.  Draw it or paint it so that it describes and depicts what you want to achieve.  Place your writing and pictures where you will see them every day.

You can write about it, draw, or paint. This is particularly useful if you find it difficult to mentally visualize your goal.  Try to visualize yourself telling others about the accomplishment or giving a presentation.  Whatever creative action you take, include as much detail as possible about your goal.



SAFE Goals Summary






The SAFE Goals method is especially good for those individuals who need to have the big picture. You may not need to use SAFE Goals for every goal you have, but it may help if you doubt your ability to achieve your goals.


Related Links

Types of Goals

Goal Setting

Goal Setting Overview

Goal Setting 10-steps

Setting Goals






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Goal Setting


Set Goals title

Goal Setting

Goal setting is a powerful technique that provides a direction for your efforts, focuses your attention, promotes persistence, and increases your confidence. 

Goal setting gives you a long-term vision of where you want to be, steps to get there, and the motivation to begin.  It essentially focuses your attention on what you really want to achieve, and helps you organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most out of your life.




Introduction to Goal Setting

Goal setting is a process of identifying what you want to accomplish and creating a plan to achieve those desired results. By setting goals on a routine basis, you decide what you want to achieve, and then you systematically move towards the achievement of those goals. Goals provide you with a focus for your life.

By setting goals, you create a rippled effect. The process of setting goals gives you a purpose and direction in life by allowing you to choose where you want to go in life.

By clarifying your expectations and by challenging yourself, you become more intrinsically motivated. You force yourself to focus on the acquisition of knowledge and to organize your resources, thus allowing you to become more organized and effective.

As you become more effective, you can improve both your decision making and performance.

As your performance increases, you achieve more and your self-confidence increases.

An increased self-confidence leads to being happier and feeling more fulfilled in life.



Creates a Long Term Vision

Having no goals is like going on a trip without a map: When there is no destination, vision, or plan, most people tend to drift. However, when people have a vision of where they want to go, they tend to feel a greater sense of commitment than they would without having the vision.


By creating goals, you create a long-term vision. You give yourself a sense of purpose and you provide yourself with a focus. By concentrating your energies and thoughts on your goals, you are better able to use time-management strategies and this in turn enables you to achieve more.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been.  –  George Eliot



Types of Goals

Goal Setting

Goal Setting Overview

Goal Setting 10-steps

Setting Goals

Performance Goals






Benefits of Goal Setting

Goals are things we consciously want to accomplish, attain, or achieve.  Setting goals helps us;

  • decide what we want to achieve in our lives
  • maintain focus and perspective
  • establish priorities by separating what is important from what is not as important
  • build self-confidence and self esteem 


“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”  John Wooden




One practical way of setting goals is to use the SMART mnemonic.  While there are several variants, SMART usually stands for:


S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant

T = Time-bound


Specific – Set specific goals that are fairly detailed.  Do not set a goal to “lose weight”, set a goals to “lose 24 pounds.”  Goals that are specific help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do.  If a goal is too vague, it is hard to measure or determine if you are successful in reaching it.


Measurable – Establish criteria for measuring the progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.  Do not set a goal to “run faster,” but rather set a goal to “run a mile in 6 minutes.”  If it is not measurable it will become almost impossible to tell if you are successful or to take the goal to the next level.


Attainable – Set goals that you can attain.  If a goal is not attainable, you may lose motivation and fall short of your goal.  You may also lose some self confidence.


Relevant – Set goals that you will feel good about attaining or achieving that is relevant to your life.   Relevant goals provide intrinsic motivation to achieve them.  If a goal is not rewarding or relevant you may loss the desire to achieve it.


Time bound – set a date on when you plan to achieve your goal.  Do not set a goal to simply “lose 24 pounds,” set a goal to lose 24 pounds by November 1.”  Without a specific date for completion, you may lose your commitment to achieving it.




SMART Goals Worksheet




SAFE Goals

Another basic mnemonic for goals setting is SAFE.  This is a nonlinear way to set goals.  This can appeal to those who are right brain dominant and prefer creative, visual ways to setting goals.  SAFE stands for:


See it

Accept it

Feel it

Express it



The first step of this goal setting process begins by picturing the future as it will be when you achieve your goal.  Then accept and assume the fact that you will attain the goal.  The next step is visualizing yourself achieving the goal and allowing yourself to feel the positive emotions associated with achievement.   Adding emotion to your visualization is very powerful.  Lastly, use your powers of expression to cement your commitment to your goal by telling others, writing it down, drawing a picture, painting, or creating an image, and any other creative expression.


The SAFE method is especially good for those who that need to have the big picture in order to accept the fact that they can accomplish their goals.




Development Series

Our Development Series provides a range of strategies, tools, and techniques used to set and manage goals.  We provide tips and strategies for setting goals including:

  • Write all your goals down
  • State each goal as a positive statement
  • Be precise
  • Set priorities
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals
  • List the benefits you intend to receive by achieving each goal

Our Tool Box provides goal setting sheets and other worksheets and reference guides to help achieve goals.




goal target


Goal Setting Worksheets


Goal Setting Worksheet


Goal Setting Overview


Goal Setting Basics


Lifetime Goal Setting worksheet



“Where you end up isn’t the most important thing.  It’s the road you take to get there.  The road you take is what you’ll look back on and call your life.”  – Tim Wiley







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