SMART goals help improve achievement and success. A SMART goal clarifies exactly what is expected and the measures used to determine if the goal is achieved and successfully completed.

A SMART goal is:

Specific (and strategic): Linked to position summary, departmental goals/mission, and/or overall School of Medicine goals and strategic plans. Answers the question—Who? and What?

Measurable: The success toward meeting the goal can be measured. Answers the question—How?

Attainable: Goals are realistic and can be achieved in a specific amount of time and are reasonable.

Relevant (results oriented): The goals are aligned with current tasks and projects and focus in one defined area; include the expected result.

Time framed: Goals have a clearly defined time-frame including a target or deadline date.


Not a SMART goal:
Employee will improve their writing skills.
Does not identify a measurement or time frame, nor identify why the improvement is needed or how it will be used.

SMART goal:
The Department has identified a goal to improve communications with administrative staff by implementing an internal departmental newsletter. Elaine will complete a business writing course by January 2010 and will publish the first monthly newsletter by March 2010. Elaine will gather input and/or articles from others in the department and draft the newsletter for supervisor review, and when approved by supervisor, distribute the newsletter to staff by the 15th of each month.

SMART Goal Planning Form

Specific – WHO? WHAT?
Increase my time on running a 40-meter sprint

Measurement/Assessment – HOW?
By practicing & training

Attainable/Achieve – REASONABLE?
Yes, I can train and run for 2-hours a day for two weeks

Maybe a 6.2 or a little lower/higher