How Do You Use the SMART Method to Create Goals? Action Plan to Achievement

January 28, 2013


Don’t just make goals, achieve them. This worksheet will help you develop your goals into an action plan. 

The Goal. Describe the goal:

S-M-A-R-T Test: What is the SMART method?



Agreed to 



Reason. Why do you want to achieve this particular goal?

Power. What kind of power do you need to achieve your goal? What power do you currently lack? Develop a plan to improve your power to get it done.

Assumptions. Things you believe about your situation, your plan, or your goal that you don’t currently know for sure are true. (Example. My boss knows how hard I worked on the Glockenspiel deal. Are you sure? What makes you think so? Could the boss have noticed only some of your work?)

Constraints. Things you can’t do. Make sure you really “can’t do” them. Is there another way to get the same desired result?

List Action Steps/Develop Work Breakdown Structure. What do you have to do to accomplish the goal? If it’s a complex goal involving several departments, a simple list of action steps may not be enough to capture what needs to be done. Use a WBS instead.

Develop Time Line and Budget. Use a calendar or Gantt chart to schedule the action steps. Identify the resources you have available and decide how best to use them.

Scott Adams on Goals vs Systems

Prepare Risk Plan. What are the key risks? How could you eliminate them in advance? How will you respond to them?

Verify Progress. Are you accomplishing what you set out to accomplish? What milestones or signposts show your progress most clearly?

Celebrate Success. Reward yourself and the people who helped you succeed. Even if it’s an interim goal, celebrating your success today helps you move forward to another success tomorrow.

Adapted by Christina Parisi from Goal Setting by Susan B. Wilson and Michael S. Dobson.

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About The Author

Susan B. Wilson (Stevensville, MI) is a coach, facilitator, and writer, as well as the President of Executive Strategies, a firm that aids organizations in goal setting, leadership, and team building. Michael S. Dobson (Bethesda, MD) has over twenty years of experience in project management, and is a business writer. He was part of the team that built the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

One Comment »

  1. avatar

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