Custom Built Team Building and Leadership Initiative Training

SMART Goals Paper Fold

Paradigm Shift

Almost everyone has a goal or a dream, but many do not know how to make their goals SMART Goals. This activity will help participants make their goals more specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Number of Participants: 1-Unlimited
Time:  15-25 minutes
Activity Level:  Low
Props: A piece of paper per participant (any size will work, but the larger the better) & writing utensils.

Objective: Use this interactive activity to help participants make their goals SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound)


  • Give participants a piece of paper and ask them to fold the paper in half 5 times.
  • Instruct the participants to write their goal on one side of the paper. They can write it out, illustrate it, or be as creative as possible.  (Example goal: Go to college)
  • Ask the participants to unfold the paper once, flip it over, and write down a goal that is more specific. (Example: Go to college and major in Nursing)
  • Encourage the participants to unfold the paper again and make their goal measurable. (Example: Go to college, major in nursing and graduate magna cum laude)
  • Invite the participants to unfold their paper one more time, flip it over, and make sure their goal is attainable by writing down examples of things they know they can do to achieve their goal. (Example: I have graduated HS, I excel in science and math, etc.)
  • Ask the participants to unfold the paper once more, flip it over, and now make sure their goal is relevant. This is the “why” of the SMART Goal…why would want to achieve this goal? (Example: Write reasons why they want to accomplish this goal: More money for my family, better career, etc.)
  • Ask them to once again unfold their paper and make their goal time-bound. (Example: Go to college and major in nursing, and graduate magna cum laude by May 1, 2016)
  • For the last step, ask the participants to unfold the paper one last time, flip it over, and write their new SMART Goal. Ask them to sign the paper and date it.

After the activity, the participants should now have a piece of paper with their SMART Goal, some factors that say how they could achieve the goal (attainable), their reasons for attaining that goal (relevant), and a date to accomplish the goal (time-bound).


  1. Encourage participants to draw or paint their goals, this will help them become more realistic.
  2. Bring old magazines and newspapers, scissors, and glue to let the participants make their last page into an art masterpiece.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What did it feel like once you had a SMART Goal?
  2. Do you feel like you are closer to achieving your goal now?
  3. What is the next action step now that you have a SMART Goal?
  4. What were some of the things on your relevant page? Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  5. Who can help you achieve this goal?

Facilitator Notes:

It is usually very beneficial to combine this workshop with a brief introduction to SMART Goals. It works to explain SMART Goals either before the activity, or as a step-by-step guide during the initiative.

Let me know if you have any questions on how to implement this into your program or have any ideas on how to use SMART Goals Paper Fold.

Ryan Eller
Founder, Paradigm Shift

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2 responses

  1. Apologies if you get this comment more than once – having a bit of trouble with the comment feed! I just wanted to say how much I loved your approach to setting the SMART goals, much more fun than staring blindly at a blank computer screen. I am inspired – now where is my biggest piece of paper and brightest pens…..!

    February 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    • I love it!!!! We once did it with poster paper, it was fun!

      February 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm

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