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Set SMART goals for the 2022-2023 performance year

It’s time to start thinking about your goals for the 2022-2023 performance year. While you still have plenty of time before goals need to be entered at the end of May as part of the STEP Define Criteria stage, it’s never too early to focus on what you want to achieve.

The SMART goals framework

Goals serve as a guide from where we are to where we want to be. Studies have shown that those with goals are 10X more likely to be successful than those without. One well-known, proven approach to goal setting — the SMART goals framework — can help you do just that.

  • Specific: What do I want to do and why? Providing detailed clarity around what you want to accomplish allows you to stay focused and increases the likelihood you will reach your goal.
  • Measurable: How will I know I’m successful? Create goal measures that allow you to track progress and celebrate growth.
  • Attainable: Can I achieve this goal? Goals should be realistic and possible based on where you are today.
  • Relevant: How is each goal connected to my, team, department and/or UCOP goals? Connecting a goal to personal and organizational benefits keeps you engaged in accomplishing it.
  • Time-bound: When exactly do I want to accomplish my goal? Do not set a date that’s too soon, as you might not have enough time to complete it, or too far away, as you may not have any motivation to start working on it.

Remember, goals in our STEP performance evaluation framework can be quarterly, yearly, or multi-year. They can be modified or changed at any check-in.

Drafting SMART goals

A simple phrase to use to draft each SMART goal is: By (completion date), I will (goal) as measured by (how you will accomplish and/or track that goal).

SMART goal examples

Quarterly Yearly Multi-Year
By January 2021, I will respond to all customer service requests within 24 hours, as measured by quarterly review of email requests. By March 2021, I will track feedback from clients by implementing a customer service survey. By January 2022, I will increase client feedback 50% by tracking the survey response rate and increasing the visibility of the survey.

Learn more or get support

  • Watch the 5-minute Establish SMART goals LinkedIn Learning video.
  • Take the 30-minute, live, hands-on virtual Writing SMART Goals in STEP course. You’ll leave with at least one draft goal to review and fine-tune with your manager. Register on the UC Learning Center. Courses take place:
    – May 5, 10 – 10:30 a.m. (PT)
    – May 24, 2 – 2:30 p.m. (PT)
  • Drop-in STEP Office Hours are every Friday from 9 – 10 a.m. (PT) through June. No registration is needed. (Office hours Zoom link)
  • Watch the Define Criteria sections 2.4 – 2.6 in the UCOP STEP Training for Employees. This is a compilation of videos from the year-one training. You can self-select any section to watch.
  • For help on how to enter goals in ePerformance:
    – Remember to select the 2022/23 document since you will see two sets of documents as we are currently finishing up the 2021/22 performance cycle.
    – Refer to pages 4-7 of the STEP ePerformance reference guide.
    – Watch these short videos: Define Criteria for Managers and Define Criteria for Employees

Questions? Contact your HR business partner or

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