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Criteria of SMART Goals for Goal Setting – VISIYA

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Congratulations on deciding to pursue a goal! However, it's common for a defined goal to lack specific guidance on what steps to take next. Why not trying the SMART method? The technique makes it possible to articulate a goal properly and break it down into specific components, which in turn helps to achieve the desired result. It should be noted that SMART criteria are equally important and must work in tandem within this method.

What do these criteria mean in practice?

VISIYA: Criteria of the smart goals on an iPad Pro
SMART goals criteria


Your goal must be clear and specific to avoid the possibility of misinterpretation. Otherwise, you may not be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve it. The term "Specific" implies that when setting a goal, the result you want to achieve is precisely defined. The goal must guide your work. Answers to the following questions will help you formulate a specific goal:

  • What do I want to accomplish?

  • Why is this goal important?

  • Who is involved?

  • Where is this goal to be achieved?

  • What resources or constraints are involved?


It's important to have measurable goals, so you can track your progress and stay motivated. You should establish specific criteria to measure the process of fulfilling the goal. The goal should be quantifiable so that you can determine how close you are to the result. This will help you stay focused, meet deadlines, and feel the excitement of approaching your goal. The following questions will help you set a measurable goal:

  • When should the goal be considered achieved?

  • What is my indicator of progress?

  • What value should this indicator have for the goal to be considered achieved?


Your goal should be realistic and reachable, because the realistic nature of the task has an impact on motivation. The goal itself should open up new opportunities, rather than become an unattainable height. The attainability of a goal is determined based on experience, resources, and constraints. When a goal seems unachievable, its fulfillment tends to 0, so it's better to set some intermediate and accessible goal. But if the goal is set and you put it off, you need to set a simpler goal. Answers to the following questions will help in setting an achievable goal:

  • Have others done it successfully before?

  • How can I achieve this goal?

  • Will I be able to devote myself to the goal?

  • Do I have enough experience, time, resources and opportunities to achieve the goal?

  • What can prevent me from achieving results?


This criterion of the SMART method involves analyzing the question – “Why do I want this?”. Whether your goal is really important to you, as well as consistent with other relevant goals, to the point that the goal can actually be achieved given the resources and time available. If the goal is complex or you're not sure you want to pursue it, set an intermediate goal just to try. So that to go part of the way and see how it feels – is there any willingness to keep going? A relevant goal answers "YES" to the following questions:

  • Is this a good time?

  • Is it worth it, given the time and resources?

  • Does this match my other efforts/needs?

  • Am I the right person to reach this goal?

Often “Relevant” is replaced by “Realistic”


The goal must be limited in time, which means there must be a deadline beyond which the goal is not met. Establishing timelines and boundaries for accomplishing a goal makes the management process controllable. But the deadline must be defined, bearing in mind the possibility of achieving the goal within the specified time frame. If the goal is not time-bound, there will be no sense of urgency and, therefore, the goal will be delayed for a long time. To set a time-bound goal, answer the question:

  • By when do I want to achieve my goal?

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