Want to accomplish your goals? Set yourself up for success by using the SMART goals acronym. This printable SMART goals template can help you remember the SMART goals definition and stick with it!
Do you set goals for yourself? If you’re fidgeting nervously and trying to convince yourself that yes, of course you set goals, relax. You aren’t alone. In fact, only about 20% of people set personal goals (source)!
And of those people that do set goals most don’t actually accomplish them. A study by the University of Scranton found that only 8% of people accomplish their goals! 🤦♀️ And while that study was specifically in reference to New Year’s goals, you’re probably pretty safe to assume the numbers are low across all goals set at any time of the year.
One way to help yourself not only set goals but actually achieve them is by using a SMART goals template, like the one in this post. SMART goal setting can provide you with the motivation and clarity necessary to knock those goals out of the park … and once you have a taste of that success, I bet you’ll want more, which means more SMART goal setting. Getting the picture?
SMART Goals Acronym Definition
Before we get to the SMART goals template or even how to write a SMART goal, let’s get on the same page with a SMART goals definition. In other words, what are SMART goals?
First off, a goal is an outcome toward which effort is directed. In other words, a goal is something you want to happen, and it’s something you’re in theory, willing to actively expend energy on making happen vs. something you passively wait for. For example, you may want it to snow but what can you actively do to make that happen? Not much; therefore “snow” isn’t really a goal.
On the other hand, being able to do 20 pushups is something you can control and work toward, meaning it can be a goal.
SMART goal setting is simply a method of establishing and working toward goals. What does SMART goals stand for? I’m so glad you asked! The SMART goals acronym stands for:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-bound
Those are all things a goal must be in order to be considered a SMART goal. We’ll break it down further in the next section!
Using the SMART Goals Worksheet
Further down in this post, you’ll find a printable SMART goals template; however, it probably won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. So let’s talk about how to use a SMART goals worksheet like the one below.
In the previous section of this post, we went over what are SMART goals. Remember, what does SMART goals stand for: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound. So when you’re learning how to write a smart goal it must check all of those boxes, so to speak. Here’s how to do it:
- Specific – Your goal cannot be vague or abstract. For example, your goal would not be SMART if it was “be a better person” because that could mean a lot of different things.
- Measurable – How do you know when you’ve achieved your goal and can celebrate 🎉? Well, if your goal is measurable, you’ll know when you’ve finished. For example, if your goal was to lose weight, you’d want to be more specific so you can measure your progress; how about lose five pounds instead?
- Attainable – In order for something to fit the SMART goals definition, it must be attainable or in other words realistic and controllable by you. You may set a specific and measurable goal of completing an ultra marathon by next week, but if you’ve been a couch potato for the past year, that probably isn’t very realistic, right? The point is to set yourself up for success!
- Relevant – Why do you want to accomplish this goal? If you do not have a strong why, you won’t be motivated. Make sure your goal speaks to you!
- Time-bound – Your goal should have an end in sight. How long do you have to accomplish this? Having a deadline will help you measure your progress and know if you’re on track or not.
You now have the info you need for how to write a SMART goal! Now all you need is a SMART goals template. I wonder where we can find one of those…. 😉
Printable SMART Goals Template
Now that you know what are SMART goals and how to write SMART goals, it’s time to get to it! Snag this printable SMART goals template and put it to use. This SMART goals worksheet can be used for students, professionals, stay at home parents, and anyone really.
To use this SMART goals template, you’ll write your goal at the top. Then you’ll make sure it’s actually a SMART goal by breaking it out into pieces. Can you fill in how your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound? If so, this goal passes the SMART test!
Bonus: Whenever you set goals, they should be SMART goals; however, that doesn’t mean you have to use this awesome template. There are other planners and trackers you can use to make sure you’re making progress toward your goals. Here are some of my favorites:
SMART Goals Example for Students
Still not 100% clear on what qualifies as a SMART goal? No worries, let’s look at a SMART goals example for students. (Keep in mind that SMART goals can work for anyone, not just students!)
Turn in all homework assignments for all classes on their due date during this school year in order to avoid academic probation.
This is a SMART goal because it is:
- Specific – All homework for all classes must be turned in on time.
- Measurable – Is any homework missing? If not, you’re on track to accomplish this goal!
- Attainable – It’s in your power to do your homework. You can control this! And there are tools that can help you stay on track like the 13-page student planner printable bundle.
- Relevant – You want to avoid academic probation.
- Time-bound – This goal spans just this school year.
Bonus: Looking for more tips on setting academic goals? Be sure to read How to Set Back to School Goals.
Hopefully this SMART goals example for students has helped you see how to write SMART goals. If you need a reminder on what does SMART goals stand for, just reference the SMART goals worksheet!
Happy SMART goal setting! 🙂