When I’m writing a goal or a task, I try to make sure it’s a SMART goal. Which means the goal is:


Specific, because is a goal or task is vague, it’s difficult to estimate, to figure out how to proceed, or to measure.

Measurable, because there needs to be some way to conclusively provide an estimate of completion and to finally say “this is done.” I also find it satisfying to clearly see my work progressing.

Achievable, because I can easily define a specific and measurable goal like “teleport to the moon,” but without star-trek level technology, this will never happen. The goal needs to be something I can realistically make happen in a certain time-frame, and with the resources I currently have, or it should be broken down further.

Relevant, because the outcome of the goal or task should have a clear positive outcome on my life or the greater project I’m working on. It’s easy to make busywork, or to re-arrange deck chairs on the Titanic, but that rarely improves the outcome.

Time-Based, because time needs to be factored in. Estimate how long the goal or task should take, and try to, over time, provide more accurate estimate. This way, you know how much you can accomplish, and can better plan out your work and stay on track. Or, sometimes a task might be open-ended, and it’s helpful to have an upper-limit on how long to spend, so that you can be sure to get to other tasks as well.