The word GOAL with the O as a target and a dart sticking in the middle of the O

This tool is designed to assist you in creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals that are:

  • Specific/Strategic
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant (or Results-bound)
  • Time-Bound

The form below guides you through a series of questions to help make sure your goal provides you the focus needed for success. Below the form is more information on S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Focused Goals for Purposeful Practice

Ericsson (2016) is the preeminent researcher in the science of expertise and coined the phrase “deliberate practice” as a method for becoming an expert. Ericsson cautions that just putting in effort does not lead to improvement in a skill. This is what he terms “naive practice.” Instead, for the time you spend to be worthwhile, it needs to be “purposeful” which includes the following elements:

  • A suitable level of challenge
  • Focused effort
  • Achievable goals
  • Motivation

In creating focused goals, this next step draws on what you learned in the assessment phase and helps you create a more concrete plan of action.

Ericsson, K. A. & Pool, R. (2016). Peak: Secrets of the new science of expertise. New York: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

A white woman with brown hair and wire rimmed glasses is on the left side of the screen. Text from a power point slide about Deliberate practice is on the right half of the scren.

Dr. Rachel Herring created a lecture on Effective Practice for Skill Development.  This explains more of the reasons behind the importance of focused goals.  You can check it out here.

For more information on S.M.A.R.T. goals, check out: