Setting SMART Goals




During our annual review, we are asked to write our goals for the year. Similarly, residents and medical students are periodically asked to write their goals. The SMART goal framework is one effective method of clarifying your goals. Goals are focused on plans for learning and development to address a performance goal or career goal. SMART GOALS are:

·       Are clear, specific accountabilities

·       Enable you to track and document performance

·       Help ensure that jobs are meaningful and manageable

·       Support the goals of the organization and departments

SMART Goal Criteria Defined:

Specific– it is the "what." For example:

·       Increase patient satisfaction scores…

·       Submit three national presentations…

·       Complete clinical QI project on immunizations rates…

Measurable– quantity, quality and cost

·       Quantity – how many? Or how much?

·       Quality – how well is something performed?

·       Costs – money spent (if any)

·       Timeliness – by when, how soon.      

Attainable– challenging, yet achievable

·       Something within someone’s sphere of influence – not total control

Relevant– supports basis for job

·       Expresses basic job responsibilities and outcomes

·       Supports organizational goals

Time Bound– a beginning and an end

·       Results occur by certain date or deadline

·       Results occur and are tracked in an ongoing manner 

Writing an Effective SMART Goal

To set a specific goal, answers questions such as:

Who is involved?

Whatdo I want to accomplish?

Where? When? Why – specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal?

Which?– identify requirements and constraints.


Other suggestions for writing goal statements:

1. Use clear, specific language.

2. Start your goal statement with TO + a VERB

3. Write your goal statement using SMART Goal Criteria

4. Avoid using negative language. Think positive!


Upcoming Conferences

UW Health Pediatric Seminars September 22nd-23rd

AAFP Family Medicine Experience (FMX)September 20th-24th, 2016

Family Medicine Midwest October 7th-9th, 2016

UW Primary Care Conference, November 3rd-4th, 2016

UW SMPH Career Paths 101: “Planning for Promotion” November 4th, 2016

AAMC National Conference  Nov 11th-15th

NAPGRG Nov 12th-16

STFM Conference on Practice ImprovementDecember 1st-4th, 2016

STFM Conference on Medical Student Education Feb 9-12th, 2017


Warm Regards,


“If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” – Zig Ziglar