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Setting SMART Goals

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Sam Kalk  •  Published on Jan 04, 2021  •  3 min read

A goal in its simplest form is an objective attained within a specific timeframe. This broad definition allows for a multitude of applications as well as confusion. For example, what is the difference between a goal, an action item and a skill? In Motis Grow, we have Skills and related action items that directly relate to the attainment of the Skill. Goals are different and separate, personal to each individual employee.


A goal is something we desire to attain that is outside of role-specific skill development. It might be a company-wide goal of developing greater empathy, or being more collaborative. It may be related to the individual employee, who seeks to learn something outside their area of expertise or develop a practice that broadens them in important ways.


We built the Goals function in Motis Grow to aid employees in identifying, setting, and achieving goals that are relevant to career development, but not explicitly reflected in role-specific Skill Tracks. Examples may include becoming an expert in a field-specific topic, sharing knowledge through writing or presentation, working on stress management or sleep, or setting an individual bar for achievement.

One of the difficulties many individuals face is that they have an idea of the abstract goals they’d like to achieve, but from there have trouble moving forward. Since broad, vague goals are all but impossible to measure and attain, we like to use the SMART system.

Individuals have an idea of the abstract goals they'd like to achieve, but from there have trouble moving forward.

SMART is an acronym used to define goals that are:
  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Accurate

  • Relevant

  • Timely

The acronym itself is less important than ensuring that it is possible to see progress toward the goal and to determine when a goal is achieved. It also ensures that the goal is meaningful to the person and their work.


Vague goal: Get better at client introductions.


SMART goal: When introducing myself to my next client, I will make eye contact, smile, clearly give my name, and specify my role on the project. 


Vague goal: Start exercising


SMART goal:  In the next two months, I will work out 3 times each week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time.


Vague goal: Learn more about AI.


SMART goal:  I will read 5-6 articles about recent trends in AI that are relevant to UX design. I will write a blog summarizing what I learned for my colleagues.

Creating and achieving goals is an intrinsically motivating way to mark a path to success. By using the SMART system, employees better define and hold themselves accountable to the goals they set.


Motis Grow maintains a record throughout each individual’s work portfolio that illustrates goals they’ve achieved and what they are working on next. Read more about that here:


Transform the way your organization grows.

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