SMART Goal Setting Template

This SMART goal setting template systematically focuses your energy on your outcomes.

SMART is an acronym that maps a clear path to your goals. 

It works with elite athletes, business professionals and students – it will work for you – whatever your goal. 

The same SMART goal method works on projects of all kinds; organizing events, getting fit, building projects, hitting financial targets – whatever your field of interest this is your fast track. 

smart goals

SMART goals systematically focus your energy on your outcomes.

The S.M.A.R.T. acronym works like this:

Write down your goals. making them specific, measurable, action-based, realistic, and timely.

SMART goal mapping is critical for your success. Download this template (PDF) and get started on smartening up your goals.

Check out the examples below to see how it works.

SMART goal examples

Goal setting creates a bridge between today's dream and tomorrow's reality. S.M.A.R.T goals is an acronym for goals that are:


Locke’s goal setting theory says that you maximize your chances of goal setting success if you set specific goals that focus your attention and energy on what you need to do to achieve your goals.

For example, setting goals such as:

  • "I want to lose weight” could be more specific with "I will lose 6 pounds", or
  • "I will become fitter" is too vague and could be more specific by stating “I will run 3 times a week for 20 minutes each time."

Brainstorm the different types of goals you want to set with these goal setting activities.


If you can't measure your goal how will you know that you have reached it?

A goal that you can measure establishes concrete criteria that allow you to measure your progress.

Having measurable goals is important as it gives you benchmarks which, when reached, give you the satisfaction of achievement. This is a great boost to your confidence and spurs you on to greater effort.

For example, setting goals such as:

  • "I will exercise today" is better transformed into "I will walk 5 miles today", or
  • "I will read my notes tomorrow," is better transformed into "I will read chapters 1 and 2 tomorrow."


Having clear action steps to achieve your goals is critical to goal setting success. You must ask yourself the following questions:

  • How am I going to reach my goals?"
  • "What steps do I need to take and what resources do I need to achieve my goals?" 

For example, suppose you want to lose 5 pounds in six months. How are you going to achieve this specific and measurable goal?

  • Are you going cut out your mid-morning snack?
  • What about getting up earlier to exercise or walking 2 miles at lunch time?

Both are actions that support your goal! Goals are an active process that involve a plan!


Setting realistic goals does not mean the goals are easy but you do need to challenge yourself so that you focus to achieve your goals.

OK...I confess that I am a bit of a chocoholic and I know that I can't do (will not do!) without my chocolate, so setting a goal to not eat chocolate for the rest of my life is clearly unrealistic.

However, a more realistic goal is to reduce the amount of chocolate I eat to one bar a week.

When the going gets tough motivational posters and goal setting quotes sustain your motivation for the achievement of your goals.


When you set a deadline to achieve your goals you create a sense of urgency to take action today!

“Whenever” is not an option for a SMART goal. Set your timeframes so that you are clear with yourself and others about exactly the amount of activity that needs to get done by when. Research suggests closer timeframes are better since it is easier for us to keep smaller, more immediate activities on track.

Whether your time frame is today, tomorrow, or in 5 years’ time, it is important to set short-term goals that work towards your long-term goal. Goal setting templates allow you to construct a detailed plan to achieve goal success.

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