What are SMART Goals?

January 6, 2020by Lisa Philp

Guest Column:
Lori Irvine, B.Sc.
TGNA Team & Leadership Coach

What are SMART Goals?

As we reflect back on the commitments that we made as we launched into a fresh new year / decade, we may discover that we have not yet accomplished all that we intended and feel defeated.

This is not the best energy source for future goal setting! Rather than be “reactive” by wallowing in a mindset of failure, be “proactive.” Think about and learn from what prevented your success, and adopt tools that will help you move forward.

First, follow the SMART Model for goal writing.  Goals must be:






Consider whether or not your goal is “SMART” by asking yourself the following questions:

Am I being specific about what I plan to accomplish? 

Do I feel motivated to achieve my goal and visualize the end result? 

Is this an attainable goal or could I be overreaching? 

Is it relevant to my value system and in alignment with my current priorities?

Can I easily track my progress along the way towards my achievement?

Making sure that your goal meets the SMART GOAL criteria is the first step in setting yourself up for success.

Once your goal is set, break it down into a list of actionable steps with specific deadlines.  Goal setting requires courage as we venture outside of our comfort zones and stimulate change.

Having an objective plan in place not only minimizes overwhelm, it can also provide momentum through your WINS along the way. Taking the time to strategize from the start pays off in the end.  Having a solid plan in place is instrumental in tracking your progress and holding yourself accountable.

Writing your goals down on paper will contribute to ensuring your accountability. Sharing your goals with others also helps. Allow yourself the liberty of reaching out for help with your goals from your leader or your peers. Not only will others support you in your efforts, they will also help hold you accountable!

Most importantly, be mindful and honest with yourself about whether or not you are truly committed to goals before you set them. Hopes and dreams are simply “intentions” disguised as goals. Know the difference, act accordingly, and enjoy the benefits of your success.


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Lisa Philp