SMART Goal Setting and Action Planning

Are you thinking about setting goals to move your career forward? Goal setting is an essential part of professional development. The new year is a great time to start working on your goals; however, you can also set goals throughout the year.

Many times, it’s a challenge to know how to get started. Using SMART goals will help you set and achieve your goals efficiently and effectively. The SMART goals framework will help you develop goals that answer the following questions:

  • Specific – What exactly will you accomplish?
  • Measurable – How will you know when you have reached this goal?
  • Attainable – Is this goal realistic, and do you have the resources?
  • Relevant – Why is this goal significant to your career?
  • Timely – When will you achieve this goal?

Tips: Make sure that you write your goals down. Goals that are written down have a much higher chance of success. Deadlines are also important, and it’s helpful to perform regular check-ins to monitor your progress. You may also want an accountability partner to keep you on track.

Now that you have set your SMART goals, you must develop an action plan. An action plan will detail the next steps necessary to achieve your goal. It will break down your goal into smaller tasks with set timelines for each, giving you a clear path to success. An action plan can also help you monitor your progress and make changes to your plan along the way. An action plan should include the following information:

  • Tasks – Create a list of tasks needed to reach your SMART goal.
  • Timeline – Set a start date and reasonable deadline for each task.
  • Resources – Determine the resources needed for each task.
  • Obstacles – Identify any challenges and strategies to deal with them.
  • Evaluation – Set dates to review your progress and make revisions as needed.

Use this information to create SMART goals and action plans to start working on your professional development today.

This AthLife Fundamental was powered by:

“Set SMART Goals to Get Ahead in Your Career.”, February 2023.

Herrity, Jennifer. “How to Write an Action Plan (With Template and Example).”, January 2023.