The importance of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals

September 30, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Smart. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Timed. These are S.M.A.R.T. goals. 

New to the performance management process at Michigan Medicine, S.M.A.R.T. goals are here to help you focus on what’s most important so you can be successful in achieving your role’s priorities. 

Setting goals along with quarterly check-ins are designed to help you reach your fullest potential.

Need help with outlining S.M.A.R.T? Check out the example below.


Goal: I want to improve my performance  

Specific: I received low marks on my ability to use PowerPoint at my last performance review. Improving my skills requires that I learn how to use PowerPoint efficiently and practice using it by creating various presentations. I’d like to be more proficient using PowerPoint in time for my next review in six months.  

Measurable: By the time of my next review, I should be able to create presentations that incorporate graphs, images and other media in a couple of hours.  

Achievable: Improving my PowerPoint skills is instrumental in moving forward in my career and receiving a better performance review. I can set time aside every week to watch PowerPoint tutorials and even enroll in an online class that can teach me new skills.

Relevant: Working with PowerPoint is currently 25 percent of my job. As I move up in the company, I’ll need to spend 50 percent of my time creating PowerPoint presentations. I enjoy my career and want to continue to grow within this company.  

Timed: In six months, I should be proficient in PowerPoint, ensuring it only occupies 25 percent of my workload instead of the nearly 40 percent of the time it occupies now. 

Key things to keep in mind about the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T goals:

  • They are fundamental to long-term success.
  • They provide clarity, definition and a compass for direction.
  • There is a proven link between goal setting and enhanced performance.
  • Goals help to focus allocation of time and resources while sustaining motivations (think of time management and engagement).
  • You will stay aware of what is expected of employees (no surprises).
  • Achieving the goal translates to feelings of success for individuals and companies, which encourages even greater productivity and confidence.

Goal-setting workshop

There are resources to help you develop your S.M.A.R.T goals, including goal-setting workshops. The sessions are geared toward assisting individuals write S.M.A.R.T. goals that can be utilized for performance evaluations.

The workshop will give you the opportunity to plan ahead by considering what success will look like for you in the coming year. 

You will learn to: 

  • Identify the elements of S.M.A.R.T. goals and their importance.
  • Compose S.M.A.R.T. goals to include in performance evaluations.
  • Discuss techniques for goal alignment.

You will benefit by:

  • Drafting S.M.A.R.T. goals that could be utilized on performance evaluation. 
  • Obtaining resources for assisting with goal formation.
  • Receiving coaching on S.M.A.R.T. goal creation. 

Want to attend a workshop? Sign up now for this free session: 

When: Friday, Oct. 18 | 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Where: Danto Auditorium 

Example source: University of California