SMART goals definition and examples

SMART goals are a framework for setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. This means that the goal should be clear and specific, with specific criteria for measuring progress and success, and a deadline for achieving the goal. Additionally, the goal should be realistic and achievable, and it should align with the overall goals and values of the person or organization. The acronym SMART is often used to help people remember these key elements of goal-setting.

Here’s a bit more detail on each of the components of SMART goals:

  • Specific: The goal should be clear and specific, so that it is easy to understand and work towards. It should answer the questions of who, what, where, when, and why.
  • Measurable: The goal should have specific criteria for measuring progress and success. This way, you can track your progress and know when you’ve achieved the goal.
  • Achievable: The goal should be realistic and achievable. It should stretch you and challenge you, but it should not be so difficult that it is impossible to achieve.
  • Relevant: The goal should be relevant and aligned with the overall goals and values of the person or organization. It should be something that is important and worthwhile to work towards.
  • Time-bound: The goal should have a deadline for achieving it. This creates a sense of urgency and helps to focus efforts towards achieving the goal.

So, an example of a smart goal would be: “I will lose 10 pounds by June 30th by working out 3 times a week and eating a healthy diet.” This goal is specific (losing 10 pounds), measurable (by June 30th), achievable (10 pounds is a realistic weight loss goal), relevant (to overall health and well-being) and time-bound (by June 30th)

Some SMART examples

Here are a few examples of SMART goals in different areas:

  • Career: “I will get a promotion to the manager position by December 31st by completing the management training program, leading three successful projects, and receiving positive evaluations from my team.”
  • Personal finance: “I will save $10,000 for a down payment on a house by December 31st by cutting expenses, increasing my income, and automating my savings.”
  • Education: “I will graduate with a 3.5 GPA or higher by May 1st by attending all classes, studying at least 3 hours per day, and seeking help from professors and tutors when needed.”
  • Fitness: “I will run a 5K in under 30 minutes by October 1st by following a training plan, increasing my running distance and frequency, and incorporating strength training exercises.”
  • Personal development: “I will learn to speak Spanish fluently by December 31st by taking a course, practicing with native speakers, and using language-learning apps.”

As you can see, each goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Keep in mind, you can always adjust the goal if you need to, so long as it still aligns with the SMART criteria.


Keep in mind, this is a framework for setting goals, you can use it as a guide but ultimately goals should be tailored to your situation and what works best for you.

If you have any questions, please ask below!