Articles How to Write SMART Goals: Examples and Templates

How to Write SMART Goals: Examples and Templates

Project Management
Bitrix24 Team
9 min
Updated: June 20, 2024
Bitrix24 Team
Updated: June 20, 2024
How to Write SMART Goals: Examples and Templates

Let's imagine you want to learn Spanish. You download Duolingo, write some flashcards... and leave it after a week of memorizing irregular verbs. Or, you plan to start the business – of course, without a business plan, Bitrix24 CRMs, and realistic budgeting.

You see, setting goals without a particular plan is rather dreaming. It frustrates and keeps you unmotivated. Instead, long-term goals require consistency and realistic resources. That's what the SMART goals system does.

Instead of dreaming, this framework helps to organize the goal-specific aspects and processes. Keep reading to see examples and the ready-made template.


What Does SMART Framework Stand For

The SMART acronym was presented in 1981 by George T. Doran. Shortly saying, it was a guide for businesses that needed to improve their goal-setting objectives. Using 5 smart criteria, CEOs developed the business plan:

  1. Specific. The smart goals should be detailed – the best idea is to put particular numbers or achievements.

  2. Measurable. Not "to become rich", but "to earn 20% more". Numbers, once again.

  3. Achievable. You don't need an unattainable ideal for that. Be fair and set smart goals that are realistic.

  4. Relevant. Do you really need it or do you want to outdo rivals? Only sincere desires work out when you set goals.

  5. Time-bound. Without timing, you risk procrastinating and losing motivation.

However, the smart objectives system quickly spread to average people. Indeed, you can utilize it for career development, language learning, or even daily tasks like doing your laundry (in case you're a professional procrastinator).

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Goal Setting with the SMART Goal System: the Full Guide

Although it seems a little complicated, the SMART goals system has a huge positive side effect on objectives. It helps to structure the goal and separate all the aspects into separate parts, making them attainable or achievable.

As a result, you track progress, know the target date, and become a project-management hero. See the detailed guide with examples. But before, take up a notebook with a pen – most likely, you'll see how your personal goal is formed in real time.

"S" for "Specific"

So, let's set an example to analyze it with the SMART goals framework. You want to learn the Spanish language. What you do is turn it into a specific goal. Why are you learning it? What particularly do you want? The answer is yours only.

Ask different language learners about that, and instead of "I want to learn Spanish" you'll get "I want to learn B1 Spanish to travel in Spain", "I want to receive B2 Spanish for work", "I need formal Spanish for my exam", etc. This first aspect shows what particularly you need. Otherwise, a smart objective makes no sense.

"M" for "Measurable" Smart Goals

Each dream can be split into particular defined objectives. Not "I want to learn Spanish", but "I want to achieve an A2 level". Not "I want to open the business" but "I want a business that brings me $2,000 each month".

Remember – your brain isn't really good with metaphors. To convince it to do something, you need achievable numbers and a quantifiable objective. While you need to inspire motivation, your brain wants a relevant goal with particular instruction. Using the "Measurable" goal aspect, you make a deal with your subconsciousness.

"A" for "Achievable" Goal Setting

Measurable goals are not everything. No matter how particular and detailed it is, the "million dollars in one month" ultimate goal won't work out. It's unrealistic, and the SMART goals system is not magic.

Make sure your point is realistic with objectives. The best reality check is asking people who already gained it (except Instagram coaches). See how long it takes to achieve the goal of "fluent Spanish", "beneficial business", "6-pack belly", etc.

In these terms, don't forget about the human factor. Everybody pauses and gets tired. Thus, let your goal be a little too realistic. Give yourself a weekend and some buffer time to procrastinate. Leaving your comfort zone doesn't mean entering a panic area.

"R" for "Relevant" goals

Once again – do you sincerely want it? "Relevant" in SMART means you really need and want this achievement. Thus, if you learn Spanish to travel, you hardly need a B2 level and perfect grammar.

Instead, correct pronunciation is essential. And vice versa, Spanish for business hardly requires modern slang. After all, do you really need Spanish or do you just feel like an outsider because everyone learns foreign languages now? Sometimes, a deep look is even more important than an action plan.

In the self-development book "Wishcraft: How To Get What You Really Want", Barbara Sher writes about a woman who dreams of becoming a celebrity. Why? After a deep analysis, the woman discovers that she wants to see famous people, experience the filming set atmosphere, and know all the tea. Here's the surprise. Not only "becoming a celebrity" goal suits those dreams. Nothing to say about its realism.

Thinking about relevancy and sincere goal-making, the woman becomes... a celebrity photographer. She's now surrounded by famous people, experiences the set atmosphere, and has particular instructions on what to do and how to achieve it. A nice lesson for everyone.

"T" For Time-Bound

Finally, the sense of urgency is what makes us move. The deadlines vary depending on the goal's complexity, but the idea remains the same. You need a time bound to keep moving.

To consider the particular time period, ask your coach or, once again, people who already achieved it. For instance, a time bound of 3 months is enough for basic Spanish, but you'll need a twice larger time frame for Japanese or programming.

Unlike a popular opinion, being time-limited for objectives is a positive aspect. First, you receive the time-sensitive schedule. Decide how many lessons you need for a week. Consider what budget is enough for app subscriptions and language courses. Time frame brings sustainability.


Finalizing the Goal-Setting: How Your Frawork Should Look Like

Let's take a look at the final result. You've tracked how a person who just "wants to learn Spanish" comes up with a detailed learning plan:

  • Specific: I want to learn A2 Spanish to travel abroad.

  • Measurable: For this, I'll visit language courses twice a week. Also, I will study through the app for 10 minutes every day.

  • Achievable: My friend learned Spanish the same way and within the same time period. I am sure it is real. Even if I fail someday, this period is more than enough.

  • Relevant: I want it because I am planning a trip to Spain next Summer. But this time, I want to speak to natives, book hotels, and make orders in cafés.

  • Time-bound: I will complete this goal in three months. During this time frame, I'll visit language courses 24 times.

And what did you get? With the help of smart goal planning, each dream becomes a particular instruction.


Smart Goal Setting for Business Needs

The SMART goals system, however, was developed for business. It works almost the same. The only difference is specific measurable resources and team planning instead of individual smart goals. Thus, you'll need some skills in project management and financial resources.

Let's assume you want to increase your business revenue. In the post-COVID era, let it be an online business success – for example, an online shop. The first step of SMART goals is making it specific. What financial increase do you need? See how the "increase sales" dream turns into "I want to increase the revenue by 20% within 2 months". A nice beginning.

Next, make it measurable and write management's goals. For instance, you need a team of 2 more people and a good CRM system to track the monthly users and revenue.

The next step of the SMART acronym is an achievable goal. For this, conduct financial calculations and write smart goals according to figures, not your desires. You'll hardly doubt relevancy – who doesn't want to earn more? However, think of your employees and their benefits. Do they want to increase YOUR revenue? See what you can offer – for example, perks for attracting more clients or completing specific tasks.

Finally, the timing is essential for business. Analyze previous seasons and track progress to establish a realistic deadline. A small business may also need new skills and a detailed list for each product team member.


The Advantages Are Obvious – See by Yourself

Surfing online, you've definitely seen various planning systems. Starting from a simple Descartes Square to complicated business tracking, there are dozens of success ideas. What sets SMART goals apart is obvious management for future achievements and tracking.

Higher Chances of Consistency

The way you set goals affects the whole process. And when you write goals in detail, you basically know what to do in every moment.

No more doubting "Should I learn today" or "When is my next learning session". A specific goal is your key to efficiency.

Motivation Boost

You see that the goal is attainable. You see how much time you need to accomplish the objectives. What's else to ask for? SMART goals are a powerful motivation boost.

Effective Management Review

SMART stands for realistic and detailed plans – that's what businesses need. Instead of abstract planning, smart goals show exactly what to do and how to manage the processes. For a team, to achieve the goal is much easier when everybody knows what to do.


Finally, smart goals are a way to know more, achieve more, and plan more. Achievable and smart goals bring satisfaction and leave more space for creativity and freedom.

Beware Complications

Setting smart goals for private needs is super easy. However, businesses accomplish complex tasks. That's how some people oversimplify the professional goal by using only one SMART goals framework.

This way, you cannot establish a general "specific, measurable, achievable" for all the team members and other efforts. Instead, split the general goal into separate SMART systems. Write the SMART goal for all employees, depending on their competencies and performance reviews. The finish line may also differ – for example, a designer should complete product cards earlier than a marketer sets the ads with them.

Private goals sometimes also require fine-tuning. Make sure complicated purposes are split into several smart goals. Once you achieve the first, come to the next one – or edit it in case you miss something.


What's Next

To set the goal and accomplish it, are two different things. After you craft a detailed plan, pave your way to success with good progress tracking. For this, choose the relevant software and make sure you have enough resources (financial and mental) to begin:

Notion and Miro

For private goals, many online users recommend tracking apps like Notion and Miro. With full freedom, create schedules, take notes, write motivational quotes, and store important data. Attainable both via PCs and smartphones, they are superb for quick personal tracking.


For business, experts highly recommend Bitrix24 CRM. Basically, it offers necessary resources for all the business needs. Use CRM to track the goal of attracting more monthly users. To discuss accomplished or planned goals, use the inner video chat. Also, write your attainable goals in the working field.

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Asana and Trello

To set the team smart goals, consider Asana or Trello. This software is developed to communicate and organize smart goals among team members. Place all the tasks on the same page and choose the assignee. Here, you can also chat to discuss smarter goals and growth points.

Sure thing, setting the goal is not everything. To make it accomplished, use tracking and control your progress over time. Still, the way you plan and set a smart goal is what determines success. Achieve particular tasks, make them realistic and relevant, and plan how much time you need – that's what SMART is all about.

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Table of Content
What Does SMART Framework Stand For Goal Setting with the SMART Goal System: the Full Guide Finalizing the Goal-Setting: How Your Frawork Should Look Like Smart Goal Setting for Business Needs The Advantages Are Obvious – See by Yourself Higher Chances of Consistency Motivation Boost Effective Management Review Self-Development Beware Complications What's Next Notion and Miro Bitrix24 Asana and Trello
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