By Jaime Watt, Employment Consultant, Thornhill Employment Hub 

Do you have trouble sticking to your goals? A great tool you can use to help accomplish your goals is the use the SMART Goal Formula.


SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Smart goals differ from vague goals because they are specific, detailed, and planned.


Here’s a vague goal:  I want to get a job. There are so many unanswered questions to this goal-which really is a wish at this point. What kind of job? Where? What kind of salary do you want? What will you do to find a job?




SPECIFIC: A SMART Goal is clear and specific. It will usually answer the 5 “W” questions: 


  • What: What do I want to accomplish?

  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal?

  • Who: Who is involved?

  • Where: Identify the location (if applicable)

  • Which: Identify the requirements and constraints


Example: My goal is to get a job as an Accounting Clerk in the Thornhill Area because it’s an occupation I enjoy, and working in the Thornhill Area will mean I will have less of a commute and more time to be able to spend with my family. 


MEASUREABLE: A measureable goal has specific dates or numbers that help you keep on track and measure your success. It answers the questions:


  • HOW do I know when I have reached my goal?

  • HOW do I measure it? 


Example: I want to be working as an Accounting Clerk by April 1, 2016. I will send out 5 targeted résumés per week and reach out to 3 industry contacts on LinkedIn each week. If by March 1, 2016 I am not finding I am getting anywhere, I will seek out the help of a professional to see if there is anything I am doing wrong.


ACHIEVABLE: An achievable goal is realistic and attainable. It should push you to accomplish it, but not be impossible.


Bad Example 1: I want to be Senior Accountant at ABC Accounting Inc. by the end of the month. I do not have the designations, education or experience they are looking for, but I really want to make 6 figure salary.


Good Example 1: I currently have the skills and expertise to get a job as an Accounting Clerk at ABC Accounting INC and will apply this week.


Bad Example 2:    I want to fit back into my favorite dress (that is 2 sizes too small) for my cousin’s wedding in a month.


Good Example 2:  I want to fit back into my favorite dress in time for my cousin’s wedding which is in 4 months. A healthy amount of weight to lose each month is 5-8lbs, so I will aim for 5lbs each month. This will bring me to 20lbs lost by the time of the wedding and I should be able to fit back into my favorite dress. 


RELEVANT:    A Relevant Goal is something YOU want to achieve and are willing to work towards accomplishing


Bad Example:       I need to get a better paying job because my partner wants me to make more money so we can by a bigger house.


Good Example: I want to find a job with normal work hours so I can spend more time with my family because that’s what I want.


 TIMELY: A goal without a due date isn’t a goal-it is just wishful thinking. Make a timely goal with a commitment to a deadline


 A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. It prevents goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day problems that may arise in life and establishes a sense of urgency.


Bad Example: I’ll go back to school someday


Good Example: I will go back to school in September 2016 to become a Nurse


Try following the SMART Goal formula and see if it helps you reach your goals.