Achieve More With S.M.A.R.T. Goals

GoalsAre you reaching the goals you are setting for your company, yourself or others?

If not, or if you want to improve on your current method you may want to work on a process to create SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym, which stands for: Specific – Measureable – Achievable – Results-focused – Time-bound

Creating the right goals is crucial to reaching the target whether professionally or personally.

Here is a process to help you set SMART goals.

Specific

Keep your goals simple so it will be clear to you and others what the goal is. Make the goal precise. For example: Grow revenue by $1 million by December 31

In this case, the goal is clear and specific i.e., grow revenue by $1 million.

Measurable

Make the goal measurable so it is obvious when and if it was achieved. In our example, the revenue growth is measurable because we have a number of $1 million as our goal. Also, the date of December 31 is a measurement of our success, as we must hit our targets by December 31.

Achievable

Goals need to be achievable. If they are not, then you and your team members can become discouraged and stop trying to achieve the goal. From my personal experience, it is best to set a challenging goal, but one that you and others view as possible; it is a stretch goal.

Stretch goals force us to think outside the box to achieve them. If we merely set an incremental goal then new thinking will not result and we will just work harder doing things the way we have always done them. What we want is creative thinking to perform at a higher level and in a different way than the past.

Results-focused

A goal needs to have a result so we are focused on the outcome. We do not want to focus on activities in the SMART goal but focus on the outcome. In our example, the outcome is growing revenue by $1 million.

Our activities that lead to the goal would be part of the plan to accomplish the goal but not the goal itself. The goal itself is an outcome. Results are what move our companies and ourselves forward, and this is where we need to focus.

Time-Bound

Set a specific timeframe to accomplish a goal. The timeframe in our example is December 31. We have now created positive tension between the goal and us because we have to achieve it by December 31. As many of us know, without that deadline the goal may not be achieved because there will not be a sense of urgency to achieve it.

SMART goals are critical to achieving your targets. It helps in communicating with others when goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time Bound as it makes the goals clear to you and others.

What other processes have worked for you and others in setting goals?

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