A SMART goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. SMART goals can help clarify priorities and improve decision making while reducing the need for outside guidance by providing enough information for independent and on-the-fly decisions.

Specific goals are objectively and usually independently verifiable. In other words, it should be clear to any observer whether or not the goal has been achieved.

Measurable goals show a clear indication of progress. Progress can be measured in a variety of ways; perhaps the simplest is to break the goal down into smaller steps and measuring complete vs. incomplete. Another way of measuring is through incremental progress; for example, if the goal is to run a 5-minute mile then progress can be seen by reducing the time it take to run a mile from 6 minutes to 5 minutes.

Achievable goals are realistically achieved with the resources, skills, and time that will be dedicated to achieving each goal.

Relevant goals solve real problems, seize real opportunities, and avoid solving problems that don't exist.

Timely goals have due-dates (and sometimes milestones) that ensure relevancy and create a sense of urgency that is inline with the overall priority of each goal.

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