SMART goals: How to plan and how to achieve them?  + (9 tools and apps)

Once upon a time, a man was eager to write personal and professional goals for the New Year, in late December, a month after that, specifically in mid-February. Sounds like a familiar story? Okay! We are all that man!

Face to face, you find yourself in front of the new year. The budget, reports, and achievements of the past year are in your hands. You know what you spent and what you achieved, whether your company is small or large, whether you achieved part of the goals last year or not, you must be thinking of setting new goals. Long and short term this year, because goals give you motivation and help you develop your business and move forward to make your company a success. It will probably wreak havoc around you!

The success of your business depends on your ability to set and achieve goals, so SMART goals are designed to become a tool that creates benchmarks to help improve your chances of success and achieve the desired progress. The clarity that SMART goals give about what you want to achieve can make the difference between success and failure. In this article, we will learn about smart goals, their criteria, methods of writing them, how to develop an action plan to achieve them, how to track them, and the most important tools to achieve this successfully.

table of contents:

What are SMART goals?

SMART Goals, or SMART Goals idiomatically, are an acronym for several words that represent criteria that help in defining work goals in an organized and effective manner, as follows:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Achievable
  • R = Relevant
  • T = Timely

Smart goals help verify that you are on the right path and save time and energy at work by making the process of achieving goals more efficient and effective. To evaluate your goals and see their validity, those goals must include the following specifications:

  • specific

You must define through your goal what exactly you want to achieve clearly and unambiguously, this point helps you understand your intentions. (stay away from ambiguity)

  • measurable

You should set markers and milestones to help you keep track of your progress, and they can be used to make sure you are moving in the right direction. (usually based on numbers or ratios)

  • can be achieved

Goals should be realistic, manageable, and actionable. (Perhaps you will have to develop your skills and change some habits, to achieve the goals you aspire to).

  • Related

Goals that fit your business model If the goal is to launch a new product, it should be something that aligns with your overall business goals.

  • time-bound

You should set a specific time limit for achieving it because having a deadline can create an urgency that will motivate you to act.

Setting and writing SMART goals

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success - Alexander Graham Bell

Determine what your goals are at work, and start writing them if you know well what you want, by asking yourself and your team some questions. The answers will help you improve your strategy in writing and preparing goals:

  • In a collective brainstorm, ask your employees to contribute to setting work goals and select from them what is appropriate for the company's succession plans. What ideas do they have for obtaining new opportunities or solving problems?
  • Talk to your customers, add their feedback, learn about their needs, and come to discover how understanding customers can help you write and achieve goals.
  • Write down the big goals and then divide them into small goals that are in turn according to the same criteria. The more you take small and confident steps, the more you will achieve progress. Remember, as you move steadily in achieving the small goals, do not lose sight of the big picture.
  • Keep the process organized by creating an appropriate format (in a table, or chart), the more organized you score.
  • Discover how to make the best use of technology, and how to invest in modern technologies, tools, and applications in writing, setting, and tracking your goals.

Here's this formula as an example:

    • Goal: I want to increase the sales of my online store.
    • Specific: In our most recent financial report, online store sales were low, we need to improve store performance to increase profits.
    • Measurable: By next year we should be able to raise profits by 150%.
    • Achievable: Improving marketing and sales plans has a major role in raising profits.
    • Relevant: Working to raise sales and increase profits helps in the growth and development of the store.
    • Exact time: Within 6 months we should be able to achieve the required ratio.

After writing the template, you can combine the whole work into one goal like this:

    • Description: To grow my store's profits, I need to improve sales by developing a marketing strategy and offering high-quality products.
    • Milestone: Execute the marketing plan within 3 months.
    • Deadline: mid-fiscal year.
    • Disclaimer: Like anything in the business world, SMART goals can change, so you must be willing to evaluate and change your goals as per requirements, your business is changing and personal goals are evolving, so it is possible that the goal you set 6 months ago no longer makes sense now.

Tools to help you set goals

The traditional method of writing goals and arranging them is still useful, but as a business owner, you should take advantage of technology that saves you, time and effort, and helps you prepare efficiently. Here is a list of four tools that help you identify, track and achieve the most important business goals easily and effectively:

Goal Buddy

An online goal-setting tool that helps you identify and see what you have achieved, with the support of friends who share similar goals with you, to motivate you and keep you on track. The tool includes other features such as task management, list organizer… and more.


A visual goal planning program that helps with planning and focus. It includes many features such as the ability to drag and move to easily rearrange goals, in addition to work status reports, calendar display, etc.


A goal-setting program that helps you define, work on, and achieve the most important ones, including a visual presentation of identifying and developing the key elements of any complex project.

Joe’s Goals

A powerful tool that helps ambitious goal seekers track and manage their goals. With its simple interface, it makes it easy for you to set daily goals, track them with just one click, measure your success, and break negative habits.

Create a practical plan for SMART goals

Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them - Stephen Covey

Creating an action plan for your goals means outlining the actions you must take to achieve SMART goals daily. An action plan helps your business grow, gets things done in a reasonable order, and helps you make sure you don't miss any of the key steps.

And the plan may certainly require the participation of partners, employees, suppliers, and customers. The written business plan will serve as a step-by-step guide to follow up on achieving your goals and the success of your business.

• Write the main title of your plan and include the implementation start date at the top, for example: “We are committed in the online store to increase sales during the first half of the year 01/01/2018.”

• Put the main goals in the form of a list. The goals should be related to anything that would help develop and grow your business, such as creating a marketing plan or hiring new employees with the necessary competence. Don't forget to prioritize your goals according to importance or the most urgent.

• Go back to the list of main goals and write under each one the action required to achieve that goal, for example: if the goal is to develop a marketing plan, then choosing platforms, tools, and marketing methods will be one of the actions, you can also consider creating a blog and hiring a writer content, or hiring an editor for social networks..etc.

• Put a start date and an end date (deadline for completion) next to each action step in your plan. Ensure that the timeline you set is realistic and achievable.

• Include the expenses required for each practical step in your plan (if you are writing about the marketing plan, for example, you will need to set the budget if you will use Facebook ads, or hire a designer, content writer, editor...).

• Collect the budget at the end of each section of the objectives. Put the total budget for the action plan at the end of the schedule. This will allow you to monitor your budget as you complete each objective.

• Revise your plan once it's complete, by writing down anything you think you could do better.

How does one tool keep you on top of all your tasks?

The Ana tool provided by Hsoub is a complete system for managing your business, projects, and team remotely. With an easy-to-use interface, you can build and customize storyboards to suit your style. It provides you with several features and features, including:

  • The tool can be accessed via a computer (desktop program or web application), Android, and iOS devices.
  • Assign each member their own task by creating tasks.
  • See the progress of each task through the timeline.
  • Conduct discussions among team members.
  • Customize the interface as you like.
  • Share files between team members.
  • Possibility to create and modify paintings offline without an internet connection.
  • A renewed news reader that keeps you informed of everything new in your field of specialization and interest.

Track your smart plan and goals

You may have set smart goals and written an action plan, but you may get distracted and lose track, so you must be careful to track your plan and goals to make sure that you are moving forward to achieve what you have planned. There will be obstacles and difficulties that can discourage you and push you away from your plan. Here are some tips to help you achieve what you set out to do:

• Now that you have the goals and the plan, start implementing those things; Break it down into small, actionable steps with a set schedule.

• Find the quantifiable aspect of your goals and write them in the form of numbers because numbers stimulate the brain more, for example: instead of writing: I will achieve an increase in income this year, write: I will achieve an increase in income this year estimated at 100,000 dollars..and so on.

• Be disciplined, patient, focused, and determined; Educate yourself to stay on track to achieve any worthwhile goal.

• Look for motivation, because it is the fuel that will push you forward.

• Make sure to achieve the small goals in the specified time. Open goals pose a threat to the development of your business because they lack the element of urgency or time pressure that encourages progress. Any delay in achieving small goals delays the achievement of the larger goal.

• Review your goals regularly. Keep reminding yourself of your goals by reviewing them at a specific time each day.

• Imagine each time how it would feel if you achieved your goals; Now imagine that at the end of the year, after setting goals, writing plans, and implementing them, imagine that this year has ended and that you are writing an evaluation and review of what you have accomplished, and that you have achieved your best achievements and reaped all the desired results. (Keep this mental image; always the image of achievement)

• Be sure to measure the results first, what have you accomplished and could you have done it better, what has not been done yet, and what it takes to do it. (For your annual goals, for example, you can divide the year into 3 quarters, set a plan for each quarter, and evaluate it when each quarter ends)

• Keep your mind alert to accomplish all the actions related to your goal, and it will automatically help you do what it takes.

• Track goals based on the time you spend on achieving each goal, if you want to develop a marketing plan on Facebook, for example: specify how much time you will spend designing designs, preparing content, publishing ads … etc.

• Evaluate priorities, and what you have accomplished on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, amend the plan, and reorganize things if they need to be modified according to new variables and emergency circumstances.

• It's easy to lose focus at work all year round, so you'll have to evaluate your performance and celebrate your successes. This will be a great way to make sure you're moving in the right direction, and to keep you motivated too.

Tools to help you track the action plan

It is possible that you will deviate from the plan you have set, or forget the goals that you set. Here are some tools that will help you stay on top of your plan and goals:


An application that helps set goals and increase productivity, starting from defining the goal, its purpose, and start and end date, to setting the action plan and tracking your progress.


The app helps you write down your core values, prompts you on how to set SMART goals, create tasks or steps required to achieve your goal, and checks and reviews achievements on a serial date.

focus booster

To carry out your plan and stay on track you need focus, this app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, targeting individuals who tend to procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks, and is designed to enhance focus, and get rid of any anxiety you may have due to time pressure.


The tool helps you track how much time you spend working on projects, use your time effectively to get more done and analyze and manage work perfectly.


Success is not accidental, without setting goals everything you aspire to will be just a dream. Success is the inevitable result of good preparation and planning, aligning the time with your most important smart goals. Achievable goals are those that can be achieved logistically within the expected levels of your skills and those of your team, the amount of time you have available, and other external factors, and it is an effective way to move your raw goals from abstract ideas to specific action steps, great results, so give up decisions, get rid of unrealistic goals, uninspired goals, easy-to-forget goals, and focus on smart goals.