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Division of Adolescent and School Health — Writing Good Goals and SMART Objectives Tutorials
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Good goals are broad statements that directly relate to the general purpose of a program, NOT what a program will do.

There are two types of goals indicated within DASH program planning tools:

  1. Overall Program Goal
  2. Five-Year Program Goals

When we referred to good goals in this tutorial, we were referencing five-year program goals.

Good goals are

  • Declarative statements
  • Jargon free
  • Short
  • Concise
  • Easily understood
  • Stated in positive terms
  • A framework for objectives

There are two key steps to writing a good goal:

  1. Specify an intended program effect in reducing a health problem.
  2. Identify the target population that will be affected as a result of a successful project.

SMART objectives represent annual accomplishments that contribute to the attainment of the goal. They are more directly linked to program strategies/ activities.

SMART objectives are

  • Specific (Who? What?)
  • Measurable (How much?)
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-phased (By when?)

Benefits to using good goals and SMART objectives include

  • Providing a structured approach to developing and testing a workplan
  • Providing a means to systematically monitor the success of program implementation and achievement of program outcomes
  • Allowing you to identify program improvements that need to be made as you review how well goals and objectives have been met to date


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