How to Set SMART Goals

The trick to achieving your dreams is setting SMART goals. 

What are SMART goals?

SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. These guidelines can help sharpen your focus in the short-term so you can reach your end goal!

  • Specific: Your goal is direct and detailed.
  • Measurable: Your goal is trackable.
  • Attainable: Your goal is challenging but reasonable.
  • Realistic: You are capable of achieving your goal.
  • Time-bound: Your goal has a deadline.

Tips to Staying on Track

Set small goals.

SMART goals can be big goals, but sometimes it helps to break them down even further to understand what you need to do daily to stay motivated.

Track your progress.

Keep a journal, take a photo, download an app, or create a sticker chart to hold yourself accountable. Having tangible evidence of your growth can help you visualize the progress you’re making.

Reward yourself.

Think of a little treat that’s worth working toward. Maybe it’s a new notebook, a movie night, or scoop of ice cream. Whatever it is, make it an item or experience you can enjoy knowing it’s a reward for staying on track.

Forgive yourself.

If you miss a day or small milestone, don’t let it derail your progress entirely.

How to Make a Good Goal, Better

Good Goal

Read more.

SMART Goal

Read 1 book a month for 1 year.


Good Goal

Learn piano.

SMART Goal

Practice piano 15 minutes a day for 6 months.


Good Goal

Save money.

SMART Goal

Set aside $25 a week for a year.


Good Goal

Be grateful.

SMART Goal

Write 3 things you’re grateful for every day for 1 month.


Good Goal

Improve mental health.

SMART Goal

Meditate for 3 minutes a day for one month.


Good Goal

Improve ACT® test score.

SMART Goal

Use ACT® Academy™ for 30 minutes 3 days a week for 3 months.

6 Weeks to Success Worksheet

Ready to tackle your goals? Download the worksheet to help you stay on track!