Knowing Yourself: S.M.A.R.T. Goals


“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein





To have a goal means you have begun to make plans to achieve the goal. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is a goal that is in writing and is:


  • Specific;
  • Measurable;
  • Attainable;
  • Relevant; and
  • Has a deadline (is time-based).


A specific goal should answer the questions What? Why? Who? Where? and Which?

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Why have such a goal — the specific reasons, purposes or benefits of accomplishing the goal?
  • Who is involved in helping you to accomplish your goal?
  • Where will you find the resources and assistance to achieve your goals?
  • Which requirements and constraints such as deadlines and resources will assist you to achieve your interim and final goal?

You must have concrete criteria to measure your progress in order for a goal to be S.M.A.R.T. Measuring the progress toward achievement of your goal will help you to maintain your focus and stay on track. A measurable goal will answer questions such as:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How you will know when you have accomplished your goal?
  • Indicators should be quantifiable.

A S.M.A.R.T. goal must be attainable and realistic. When you identify your goal you begin to paln for achievement of the goal — you develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity you will need to reach your goals. Don’t make a goal that is impossible to achieve based on your current resources and capabilities. If your goal is big, break it down into smaller goals or steps and go An attainable goal answers the question How?:

  • How will the goal be accomplished?
  • How realistic is the goal based on your constraints and obstacles?

A S.M.A.R.T. goal is relevant. A relevant goal answers YES to these questions:

  • Does this goal seem worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time for this goal?
  • Does this goal match your other efforts or needs?
  • Are you the right person to accomplish this goal?
  • Is this goal appkicable in the current business environment?



A S.M.A.R.T. goal is grounded within a time-frame or target date for accomplishment. A commitment to a deadline will help you to focus your efforts on completion of the goal on or before a due date. A time-bound goal will answer the questions:

  • When will you accomplish your goal?
  • What can I do in six months to move forward to accomplishing my goal?
  • What can I do in six weeks?
  • What can I do today toward my goal?


When making plans to achieve your goal, write down the answers to the following questions and you will be on your way to achieving a S.M.A.R.T. goal:

What is my goal? What do I want?

Why do I want to do this? How will accomplishing my goal make me feel?

  • Is it time-bound?
  • Is it relevant?
  • Is it attainable?
  • Is it measurable?
  • Restate your goal and be specific

What obstacles might prevent me from achieving my goal?

Who or what can help me to achieve my goal?

What is the deadline for achieving my goal?

How will I know I have completed my goal? What are the checkpoints I’ve set to guide me to completion of my goal?

Now, get to it . . .

bitmoji155069107-3This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in CT. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

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