I often mention SMART targets in my sessions and articles but I thought I’d write a post to explain what they are and why it’s so important we make our goals SMART.
So, what is a SMART goal?
A SMART goal or target is an acronym that relates to creating objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound.
The SMART acronym first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review in an article entitled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives.” written by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham. It was initially a business tool but now is used by many people all over the world for setting business, career, financial and personal goals.
What do we get from making our targets SMART?
Well, being SPECIFIC helps you to know exactly what you want to achieve, enabling you to acknowledge exactly when you’ve actually reached your goal or objective. We often find if we’re too vague in our goal setting we don’t really know how to identify/ measure when we’ve achieved the results required.
Sometimes we’re not even aware of what that looks like. It also helps us to understand why a specific goal is important and what we’re going to get from reaching it so we know that the effort to get there has all been worth it.
It’s really important that our goals are MEASUREABLE and we know how to measure them. How do you quantify your goals? Is it time? Is there a tangible result? Is it the feeling of success? Is it monetary? Is it a promotion? By knowing from the beginning how you’re going to measure your success, you’ll be able to track your progress from start to end.
Are your goals realistic? Your goals should be pushing you out of your comfort zone and into your stretch zone. It is incredibly important that we challenge ourselves as we produce better results when we are being stretched.
Even though our goals are perhaps something beyond where we are now, we need to make sure that there is the possibility of reaching them and that we have a clear plan to get there. For me, I know that anything is achievable as long as the commitment is there as well as a solid plan on how to get you there.
Are your goals relevant to where you want to be? There is little point in setting a goal that doesn’t mean anything to you, you have to know why you want to achieve this and what difference it will make to you. I’m not saying it has to be a life changing objective, just that it needs to be relevant to your situation and values.
Are there dates in your diary to have achieved your objectives by? Many of us have goals floating around but do we know when we need to achieve them by? If we don’t set a date, they are often a wish rather than a goal.
So, after reading this snippet on SMART goals, how effective is your goal setting? If you’d like a little more info or some help in getting your plan set out you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
‘I think anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in.’ – Roger Clemens