This document details the procedures and recommendations of the Goals and Metrics Committee of the Strategic Planning Task Force of the American Heart Association, which developed the 2020 Impact Goals for the organization. The committee was charged with defining a new concept, cardiovascular health, and determining the metrics needed to monitor it over time. Ideal cardiovascular health, a concept well supported in the literature, is defined by the presence of both ideal health behaviors (nonsmoking, body mass index <25 kg/m(2), physical activity at goal levels, and pursuit of a diet consistent with current guideline recommendations) and ideal health factors (untreated total cholesterol <200 mg/dL, untreated blood pressure <120/<80 mm Hg, and fasting blood glucose <100 mg/dL). Appropriate levels for children are also provided. With the use of levels that span the entire range of the same metrics, cardiovascular health status for the whole population is defined as poor, intermediate, or ideal. These metrics will be monitored to determine the changing prevalence of cardiovascular health status and define achievement of the Impact Goal. In addition, the committee recommends goals for further reductions in cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality. Thus, the committee recommends the following Impact Goals: "By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20%." These goals will require new strategic directions for the American Heart Association in its research, clinical, public health, and advocacy programs for cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention in the next decade and beyond.