The goal and objective setting matrix

This article is part of a series from Good Practice, offered to ICAS members as part of the ICAS mentoring programme.

Organise your goals in a logical manner, using the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. method.

This matrix is ideal for organising your goals and objectives in a logical manner. By creating S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals you will be able to track your own progress and focus on the end result.


1. Start by specifying your goals/objectives. List them in the left column of the matrix that can be found in Supplementary Resources - at the foot of this page. Add additional rows to the table as necessary.

2. Fill in information for each goal/objective relating to:

  • How progress will be measured. This will help you to revisit your goal/objective and ensure you are on track to achieve it.
  • The resources you will require. This will ensure that you are fully prepared to achieve your goal/objective.
  • Its relevance. Remember, your time is valuable so if the goal/objective is not relevant and important, you should focus on other goals.
  • The time you have to achieve it. If you have deadlines for achieving your identified goals/objectives you can prioritise what you are doing.

3. Review your desired goals/objectives individually ensuring they are all S.M.A.R.T.E.R.:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound
  • Extending
  • Rewarding

Once your goal/objective setting matrix has been completed it can be used as a work plan to ensure that all goals are achieved.

The goal and objective setting matrix covers the following questions:

  • What is your specific goal/objective?
  • How will you measure progress?
  • What resources do you require to achieve this goal/objective?
  • How is the goal/objective relevant, with a clear purpose and benefit?
  • Is there a deadline? If so, what time do you have to achieve the goal/objective?
  • How does the goal/objective challenge you?
  • What wil your reward be for achieving the goal/objective?
  • Has the goal/objective been achieved?


  • Career mentoring resources

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