A white couple in their mid-fifties in matching red turtleneck jumpers and love heart bouncy ears. They are cuddling and covered in various 'I love you' stickers.

These two are relationship goals! Image Credit: Alex Green

We all have goals, but often, we never stick to them. However, frameworks exist that can help with that. The SMART acronym provides a structure that allows us to create actionable aims; as a methodology, it has been around in one shape or form for decades (Lawlor 2012). Morrison believes the acronym developed organically through the cross-pollination of ideas between education and business, as no definitive author exists (2022) (Lawlor 2012). As such, there are many variations on what SMART actually stands for (Rubin 2002). To keep things nice and tidy, I will use the SMART representation as defined by (Parker 2023):

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound

Considering my posts on this blog so far, I will pull aims from the journal entries ‘My Next Adventure’, ‘Tee’ and ‘Failure’ to guide my first SMART objectives.

My Next Adventure

I will transition into the tech industry by finding a job as a UX designer. Each week I will send either one application or contact a new recruiter. By working each week on applications, I will take constant small steps despite my other commitments. I aim to be working as a UX designer before my two-year master’s is complete. Therefore, I will utilise the breaks between modules to send at least five applications per week.


I want to be employed by a company with solid design skills and UX maturity. To that end, I will enhance my employability in 2 ways: finding an area of UX where I can learn specialist knowledge and improving my German language skills. As I advance through the course, I will use this blog to document my progress in my chosen speciality and identify potential case studies for my portfolio, highlighting my knowledge. I will also find an online language test to determine my German level, which I will return to every few months. I will enhance my industry-specific vocabulary by listening to UX podcasts in German. As this goal will work in conjunction with the previous one, I will add speciality-specific information and projects to my portfolio between each module before sending out applications.


I will grow my general UX skills by utilising Ericsson’s Theory of Deliberate Practice. That will ensure I put myself at a level of challenge where I can’t complete things easily with each piece of coursework but not where I’m entirely out of my depth. With each new task, when I brainstorm ideas, I will disregard the easiest ones. I will then take stock of my current skill set and available time frame and analyse whether the scope of the remaining ideas needs to be reduced or increased. I will grow my skills by taking this extra step with each activity. Putting this goal into action will be connected with each piece of coursework. During the planning/ideation stages, I will set aside at least 15 minutes to assess if my current plan will put me at the appropriate challenge level.

Phew, that was a lot of detail. But there we have it, my first ever SMART goals which will guide me to the next stage in my UX journey. With each post in my journal, I will revisit my SMART objectives to assess whether I need to update them.

No matter how useful they are, I am not a fan of acronyms, so I felt squeamish going into this task. Having made some of my own SMART goals, I see the framework’s benefit as it breaks down each step, leaving no room for quitting; each of my ambitions now feels more achievable. Engaging with the SMART framework was an excellent process to clarify things in my mind and to better communicate my aspirations and general thoughts to others.

P.S. Interestingly, by referring to my previous posts, I realise I was already on the path of creating SMART goals without realising it.


    LAWLOR, K. Blaine. 2012. ‘Smart Goals: How the Application of Smart Goals Can Contribute to Achievement of Student Learning Outcomes’. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning: Proceedings of the Annual ABSEL conference 39, 259–67.

    MORRISON, Mike. 2022. ‘Published History of SMART Objectives’. RapidBI [online]. Available at: https://rapidbi.com/history-of-smart-objectives/ [accessed 23 Feb 2023].

    PARKER, Alcwyn. 2023. ‘Reflective Writing: Smart Goals’ [Online Lecture]. Available at: https://learn.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/483/pages/week-5-smart-goals?module_item_id=29802 [accessed 23 Feb 2023].

    RUBIN, Robert S. 2002. ‘Will the Real SMART Goals Please Stand Up?’ The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.


    German vocabulary of the week

      Smart – Schlau