Examples of SMART Goals and Objectives

29 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Examples of SMART Goals and Objectives

Examples of SMART Goals and Objectives

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Erica Olsen. The Vice President of Marketing at M3Planning defines goals as 1-3 year action statements.

SMART goals and objectives, therefore, are the guiding principles that precisely articulate the approaches that you employ in the pursuit of your desired performance outcomes.

Spelling Out Your SMART Goals

A number of examples of SMART goals and objectives can be used for inspiration. The difference between an idea and a goal is that a goal has a plan for moving from the idea stage to the point where what you want to accomplish is a reality. If you think, Someday I would like to…, this is an idea or a wish but not a goal.

While these ideas certainly have their place in our lives, it is unrealistic to call them goals without a plan.

SMART goals simply summarize your performance expectations. You need to spell out these expectations in a practical, quantifiable, observable, and predictable manner. Below are some demonstrations of SMART goals and objectives.


In order to be successful in reaching a goal, you need to have a clear picture in your mind as to what you want to achieve. Include a set number or level wherever possible. You may say to yourself, We want to make increase sales, or cut costs. These are not examples of SMART goals and objectives because they are not specific enough: How much sales do you want to increase?

You need to have a precise picture of what you want the end result to be in your mind.

Sample Goal: Ed Emuzio. the President and CEO of Group Harmonics, reiterates that goals are actionable when they are specific. You could specify a goal: I want to cut down my restaurant’s operational expenses by 25 percent within the next three months by reducing the number of employee shifts from four to three. In this example, the specific goal is to cut down the operational costs of your restaurant by 25 percent within the next three months.

Saving the costs of operations by 25 percent, therefore, will be the primary target that you have set out to achieve in the next three months.


Goals and objectives are measurable when you can quantify them: How many sales (dollar amount or number) do you want to make? How much money do you want to save per week, month, or year? You stand to achieve expediency in the pursuit of your goals when you know the exact pace of your progress toward achieving your measured target.

Sample Goal: A goal to increase the total number of your guest arrivals in your hotel, for example, would only become measurable if you state the desired quantity by which you would like to increase the numbers. For example, you could state This year, the company will increase the annual guest arrivals by 20 percent from 1,500 guests to 1,800 guests. You would definitely be able to measure these goals within your target timeframe.


A goal is said to be attainable when its accomplishment is within reach. The goals you set for yourself need to be attainable. Is the goal something you have skills and abilities to achieve? Is this goal something you are motivated to achieve?

Are you prepared to take steps and perform tasks necessary to achieve your goal?

Dave Lavinsky. the Co-Founder and President of Growthink, contends that when you say I want to become a black belt in the next four months this is an example of a goal that is not attainable because there is a series of steps involved. It actually takes an effort to attain a goal and whether your goal is attainable has a lot to do with your willingness and capability to achieve the goal.

Sample Goal: Instead, you could say, I bought a new management accounting software for my bookstore and I want my employees to be trained on how to use the software within the next three months. It is very important to craft goals that you can accomplish conveniently and efficiently.


A realistic goal is one that is within a practical range of achievement. You cannot expect to increase sales by 20 percent in two weeks, for example.

Sample Goal: Increase sales by 20 percent in 20 weeks. That is a realistic goal. You risk experiencing lack of motivation when you set excessively high performance targets for your employees or yourself.


Goals must have specific timeframes. Determine how long you will give yourself to reach the goal, either in days, weeks, or months, or set a specific date by which you will reach the goal. Mark this goal date on your calendar and display it in plain sight.

This serves as a reminder and helps keep you motivated.

Sample Goal: Divide the steps involved in reaching your goal into smaller steps. For example, if you plan to conduct a two week training program for your employees, this is how you could state your timely objective: Our training program will commence on Monday 18, 2012 and last for the next two weeks. Each employee is expected to attend one class per week until the end of the program on Friday, June 29, 2012.

Other Examples of SMART Goals and Objectives

Here are some other examples of SMART goals and objectives:

My business is going to sign new contracts with [number] new suppliers in the next three months. I will contact [number] of potential suppliers each [day/week/month]. By [date], I will be working with these new suppliers.

We will attend the annual agricultural exhibition at the London Mayfair Hotel on [date]. We are committed to displaying our distinctive veterinary products [number] times per week. We will schedule our weekly programs for this exhibition and keep track of all our interactive marketing sessions throughout the exhibition.

By [date], we will have attended [number] of interactive marketing sessions.

Our company will recruit [number] new IT professionals in July this year. We will advertise for the new positions in the print and online media on [date] and conduct interviews on [date]. Successful candidates will start work on [date].

We want to grow our revenue to [amount] dollars in the next 12 months.

SMART Success

Research findings by Edwin Locke. a pioneer researcher of goal setting and motivation theory, demonstrated a direct relationship between the articulation of SMART goals and the successful accomplishment of tasks. According to Locke, employees were motivated by clear goals and appropriate feedback. Organizations can employ SMART goals to promote teamwork, participative decision making, and collective responsibility among employees.

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