Define Your Development Goal

To set your development goal, first ask yourself what you learned through your self-assessment and feedback about your strengths and areas for improvement. Then compare that with the competencies required for your vision of success that you noted on Page 4 of your workbook. Pick a competency that is required for success, in which your self-assessment and/or feedback suggests there is room for improvement. That will be the competency you focus on in your professional development plan.

Once you’ve defined a competency for professional development, write a statement that describes what you’d like to be able to do differently in that area. Write that statement in Section 1 of the SMART Goal Worksheet on Page 6 of your workbook. This is your “Goal Statement.”

Make sure your goal statement is “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-bound. Click on the words below to learn more about each element.


Your goal should address one or more of the five W’s: who, what, when, where and why. The purpose of your goal is to be specific about the future state you want to reach.


This means it’s possible to know when your goal has been achieved, and the level at which you achieved it.


This means that you can identify actions to be taken that will contribute to the achievement of your goal.


This means you have the capability to accomplish the goal, even if you are not fully competent in that area yet. Also, your goal is realistic if it can be met even with your other commitments. And even if your goal is a stretch for you, it is still feasible one step at a time.


This means there is a specific time frame to achieve your goal with beginning and end dates. Your plan may include interim milestones and a plan to monitor progress as well.

Use the SMART Goal Checklist in Section 2 of the SMART Goal Worksheet on Page 6 of your workbook to make sure your goal statement is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.