SMART is a mnemonic device to help guide people in developing strong objectives. Program or strategic goals convey in general terms what success will look like if a program or strategy is successful, while objectives describe specific desired outcomes. Both process and outcome objectives should be SMART. SMART objectives are an integral part of thoughtful program planning, and can help inform logic models, work plans, and both process and outcome evaluation.

There are various versions of what SMART stands for, but the most common is:
S
specific
The objective is focused on one clear, specific aspect of a program or desired outcome.
M
measurable
The objective can be realistically and feasibly measured to evaluate if the program is going according to plan or has achieved a desired outcome.
A
achievable
It is realistic to expect that the program can achieve the objective.
R
relevant
The objective is of clear importance to the program, its goals, and/or the intended audience, and is worthy of spending resources to evaluate.
T
time-bound
The objective sets a target date by which it will be achieved, so that it is clear when to monitor and/or evaluate.
It is also common for the A to be used to represent appropriate, attainable, or ambitious, and for the R to represent realistic or reasonable.

Below are some examples of objectives that do and do not meet each criterion.
Criterion
Weak objective
Stronger objective
Specific
By 1/1/2020, participants in Program X will improve their knowledge about sexual assault.
By 1/1/2020, 80% of participants in Program X will be able to identify 3 risk factors for sexual violence perpetration.
Measurable
By 1/1/2020, 5% of Program X participants will successfully intervene as active bystanders against situations of potential sexual assault.
By 1/1/2020, 50% of Program X participants will report that they intend to use their bystander skills if they encounter a situation of potential sexual assault.
Achievable
By 1/1/2020, 100% of School X students will report that they believe it is never acceptable to check up on a dating partner's location and/or activities several times a day.
By 1/1/2020, 25% of Program X participants at School X will report that they believe it is never acceptable to check up on a dating partner's location and/or activities several times a day.
Relevant
By 1/1/2020, 65% of Program X participants will be able to explain the socio-ecological model.
By 1/1/2020, 65% of Program X participants will be able to explain the effect of sexual objectification in the media on social norms related to sexual violence.
Time-bound
80% of Program X participants will report that they intend to never hit, slap, pinch, kick, or punch a dating partner.
By 1/1/2020, 80% of Program X participants will report that they intend to never hit, slap, pinch, kick, or punch a dating partner.