Since it comes from the education community, we know that SMART is an acronym.
The idea is that a professional cannot be evaluated with a cookie-cutter evaluation form. It gives the executive/professional responsibility for his/her performance and establishes clear expectations from the beginning. It is flexible, and unless the organization is stagnant (and probably needs to get a new executive), the goals will change every year. An important part is that the supervisor/evaluator and the professional/executive agree that these are valuable things to accomplish this year. Together they set the goals and determine how success will be measured. They will begin on the same page and there will not be any surprises at the end of the year. "What do you mean, I didn't keep the teacher's lounge clean? When you said improve the morale of the faculty, I sent them to Cancun."I don't know if SMART goals work for personal goals. If I don't succeed, that doesn't mean they don't work for anyone. (DUH). I just know that my previous attempts at action plans and resolutions and charts and 8 X 10 glossies with the arrows... no wait, that was Alice's Restaurant...anyway, that hasn't worked. And as someone has pointed out here before, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is nuts. (But he/she said it in a nicer way.)
I'm still working on my SMART goals. I'll post them and let you know how it works for me. This may take some thought.