DM3-Develop SMART Goals Assignment

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The purpose of this assignment is to set realistic goals and define steps you will take to achieve them.


It is fairly simple to state a goal; we all do it all the time. Achieving the goal can often be the part that is difficult. The actions you take to accomplish your goals play a huge role in whether you reach them. You often need to take several small steps (your short-term goals) before you get to your final destination (your long term goals). By using the SMART acronym as specified below, you will give yourself the best possible chance of achieving the things you want.

Letter Definition
  • Easy to understand.
  • Specifies desired future results
  • Uses concrete action verbs (i.e. increase, solve…)
  • Defines the goal by answering: who, what, when, why, how…
M = Measurable
  •  Describe how each goal (result) will be measured.
  •  Answer the following questions:
  • "How will I know the result has been achieved?"
  • "How will I show the result has been achieved?"
A = Achievable
  • Do I have the necessary tools or resources to accomplish this goal?
  • Is this goal within my control and influence?
R = Realistic
  • With all the other commitments I have, is this goal realistic?
  • Does the goal relate to broader objectives that I wish to achieve?
T = Timely
  • What is the specific time frame to achieve this goal (beginning and end date)?
  • Is the time frame reasonable? Have other factors been considered?
  • May include interim steps and a plan to monitor progress
  • May establish a time frame for short and long-term goals.


My short-term academic goal is: Earn a good grade in math.

My short-term academic-goal, in SMART goal format is: I will earn a B grade or better in Math 1142 this spring semester by readjusting my work schedule to utilize Smart Learning tutoring studying with my study group on a weekly basis and closely tracking my grades.

Exercise: SMART Academic Goal

What are some results you would like to achieve within your next two terms in college?  Enter one goal  (end result) in the form below that you would like to achieve. If you would like to type or draw out your responses, you may use DrawIsland, Word or the drawing tool of your choice; save the file and upload it below.

As you enter an academic goal, be sure that it is:

  1.   a tangible outcome (end result)
  2.   stated in the present tense as the end result
  3.   possible to accomplish in 3 months or less (short-term) or say, 3 years (long-term)

Printable Version
DM3: Develop SMART Goals

Covey, S. (2004). The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. New York: Free Press.
Hubbard, D. (1993). Continuous Quality Improvement: Making the Transition to Education. Maryville, MO: Prescott Publishing Co.
Lewis, R., and Smith, D. (1994). Total Quality in Higher Education. Delray Beach, Florida: St. Lucie Press.