The best way to plan SMART Objectives


When planning objectives, they need to be SMART. SMART objectives makes it easier to achieve them, therefore increasing the chance you will achieve your goal. But, how do you plan smart objectives?

The secret is using a Personal Development Plan (PDP) table.

The best way to plan SMART Objectives – Youtube video

Personal Development Plan Table

A Personal Development Plan table breaks down writing an objectives into 5 columns, these are:

  • Planned Action/Tasks: What activities you will do?
  • Resources: What you need or who you need to support you?
  • Goal: What do you want to achieve?
  • Success Criteria: How will you know this is complete? How will you measure progress?
  • Date Due: When will you complete this or review progress?
Personal development plan table used to plan objectives. Consists of 5 columns; planned action, success criteria, resources, goal and date due
Personal Development Plan table

Each Column is a SMART element

You can see each column provides a SMART element.

  • Planned Action/Tasks: Defining tasks make it Specific.
  • Resources: Having the required resources makes it Achievable.
  • Goal: Making sure the objective aligns to the goal ensures the objective is Relevant.
  • Success Criteria: Defined Success criteria makes it Measurable.
  • Date Due: Setting a date makes it Time Bound.

All of these column elements put together forms a SMART objective.

Planning objectives example

So let’s use the table and apply this to an example. The goal is learning to play the guitar.

Tasks could be:

  • Practice 3 times per week
  • Book lessons
  • Read about music sheet structure

To do the tasks, you will need resources:

  • Time to practice
  • A guitar teacher
  • A book explaining music sheets

A good success criteria could be passing the guitar grade 1 exam.

For the date due, you could aim to sit the exam in 3 months.

Filled in personal development plan table for planning objectives for playing the guitar
PDP table for the goal of learning to play the guitar

So putting these elements together your objective would be “Practice 3 times per week for my grade 1 exam in 3 months.”

“Practice 3 times per week for my grade 1 exam in 3 months.”

Let’s check, if this objective is SMART:

  • Specific – yes!
  • Measurable – yes!
  • Achievable – yes!
  • Relevant – yes!
  • Time Bound – yes!
The word SMART with a picture of a brain with eyes, glasses and limbs.

Now it’s your turn. Have a go at planning your objectives with your Personal Development Plan.

The Goal Achievement programme

This part 4 of our 4 part “Goal Achievement” programme. Checkout parts 1 through 4 here:

  • Easy Goal setting to conquer your mountains
  • Setting Objectives: The best way to achieve goals
  • Smart objectives make you Successful
  • The best way to plan SMART objectives
Mountain with blue cloudy sky with a flag at its summit.

More Mock Interviews Content:

If you want to see more content on business skills and tips for interview success check out our new Youtube Channel: Mock Interviews

We also offer practice mock interviews, check out our packages and book by filling out our booking form.

All the best.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *