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What Are SMART Goals and Why Are They Important?

Goals are the everyday aspects of the decision-making process that gives an individual or a business that sense of clarity, concentration, motivation, and direction in the goals set. Through establishing smart goals, a person or a company get an opportunity to create a specific target that has to be aimed for in whatever has to be done. Therefore, smart goals are essential in guiding how the process of setting goals. The acronyms in the word intelligent, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely uniquely allow for incorporating specific criteria that guide how efforts should be focused and enhance chances of goal achievement.

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Specific smart goals are well thought out, have clarity in their setting, and are not ambiguous. By being transparent, the chances of accomplishing goals are significantly increased. In order to enhance the possibilities of making a particular goal, four key questions have to be asked that guide setting this goal (Brown, 2017). Defining who takes part in the set goal, what has to be accomplished, where the goal setter must achieve the plan, and why the goal is set is critical when establishing a specific purpose (Brown, 2017). In the case of a college student, an example of a particular plan is that I need to achieve good grades this semester and improve on my performance.

The measurable element in smart goals facilitates making sure that one can assess whether the goal setter met the set goal and, if so, how beneficial it was. In order to make this assessment, the goal setter must ask questions about how many or much, what it is that indicates progress, and how one can realize the goal has been achieved (Brown, 2017). Going with the college goal example, the student has to ensure that the learner will dedicate an extra two hours to learning every day.

Being realistic when setting goals is very important because it helps in achieving deadlines. By establishing an achievable goal, one can avoid missed deadlines by developing a more accurate overview of the time invested in the tasks that have to be completed within a specific timeframe (Brown, 2017). Therefore, evaluating whether one has the appropriate capabilities and resources is significant in determining what might be missing and if such has been done before. Thus, the college student must question whether what it takes to achieve good grades in the semester is available and if the same has been realized in the past.

Result-focused or realistic goals allow the goal setter to have a clear cut and set out outcomes for meeting the set goals and holding yourself to the goals. Therefore, believing whether the goal setter can accomplish the plan becomes critical in realizing the purpose, and the setter must consider the following. If the goal is real and can be achieved, it can be attained using the resources and available time, and the setter can commit to reaching the goal (Brown, 2017). Here the student has to believe that with the available resources and in the semester’s duration, she will achieve good grades.

Timely or time-bound goals are goals that are set based on specific timelines. In cases where the activities associated with the goals are complex, it becomes significant to break down the tasks into simple, manageable steps and establish timeframes for the simplified activities (Brown, 2017). With this understanding in mind, the goal setter must consider the following. One, does the set goal has a deadline attached to it, and two, when is the goal set to be achieved? For the college student to have good grades by the end of the semester, learning two more hours daily, engaging in all learning-related activities, and by semester end having a distinction is smart.


Brown, T. (2017). Setting Smart Goals: How to Think Big and Achieve Your Goals. Vachendorf Spa Healing Media.

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