007 – Why SMART Goals are Dumb

Goals…..we’ve all heard of them and all been advised that we should be using them both personally and clinically….but why and how are we using them? Do we have a good understanding of how they work? Hear me out and I’ll see if I can make you think 😉

When I say how do you write a goal I bet this is what you think of:






………….but why?

I’m sure we’re all very familiar with this format for “goal setting”, it’s been drilled into us for year! But how many of you could list a different goal format right now off the top of your head? To me, that in itself is an issue. I encourage you to hear me out and listen to this one with an open mind. I’m a believer that SMART goals are not only not a good method of goal progression for OT’s but even that they can be detrimental….and I’m about to explain to you my thoughts around this!


Keep occupied



5 thoughts on “007 – Why SMART Goals are Dumb

  1. Loved listening to this podcast, and loved even MORE that I feel validated in feeling the same way!!

  2. DUMB goals strike me as more client-centered vs. SMART goals. SMART goals are used to demonstrate “medically necessary” therapy which often has nothing to do with well-being or quality of life.

  3. Listening to this via a suggested bit of content at uni (2nd yr OT student)… and oh my gosh sooooo many of us hate having to use SMART goals. SO rigid! and too jargony. Learning about OT and how holistically we get to think, consider and listen to our clients just juxtaposes the idea of SMART goals…. feels like we are just desperately hanging onto any Evidence Based Literature to sound credible and valid as OT’s… rather than exploring and innovating best ways to progress and measure that progress of the INDEPENDANT person.
    Thank you. Such a great podcast. 😀

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