A goal is a desired result that a person or a system foresees, plans and promises to achieve. According to Bill Copeland, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” In order not to end up like bill have said, it is good to have a goal and at the same time set the right goal. If you don’t know where you’re heading, you’ll never get there. Therefore, it is imperative to always set or create a S.M.A.R.T goal instead of a broad goal. S.M.A.R.T goal means creating a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound goal. The S.M.A.R.T model is an effective process if adopted in any business or by any individual; it can help in achieving those set goals in a faster and extraordinary way. Below are the 5 S.M.A.R.T acronyms to guide you in order to attain any set goals both in your individual life and in your business.
- Specific – Be Specific
Is it specific? A specific goal is a simplistically written and clearly defined goal. This is where you asked most of the questions in order to know what to do e.g.
Who? Who is involved?
What? What do I want to accomplish?
Where? Identify a location.
When? Establish a time frame.
Which? Identify needs and limitations.
Why? Specific reasons and benefits of accomplishing the goal.
The aim of asking the questions is to make your goal more specific. This can help you differentiate a broad goal from a specific goal. The more specific your goal is, the higher the chances of accomplishing the goal.
I want to own a Benz S600. – Broad
I will put 40% of my income in savings for the next 15 months and talk to a car dealer. – Specific
- Measurable – Have a tangible set of principles for measuring progress in meeting your set goals.
Is it measurable? A goal without a measurable outcome is like driving a car without speedometer. Measuring your progress will help you stay on track, reach your target set dates and accomplish your goal. The best way to know if your set goal is measurable is by asking questions like:
How will I know when my goal is accomplished?
What is at the destination?
Depending on the type of goal, set a reminder either weekly or monthly that will help you measure your progress. A smartphone calendar is a good tool to use, an office board or a notepad.
I intend to loose weight by joining the gym class. – Not measurable
I intend to loose 30lbs by attending the gym class 12 times a week. – Measurable
Is your goal achievable? Goals should be achievable. Centered on your present limitations e.g. schedule, workload, skills, and knowledge required to achieve your goal, do you believe you can achieve your set objectives? If its not visible, then set a different goal, one that is realistic for you in the present. Questions below can help you set an achievable goal: –
Are you ready to make the pledge to achieve your target?
Do you have what it takes to achieve your set goal?
Are you willing to at least tweak some aspects of your life?
Is there a more achievable target you are keen to work for?
You can meet practically any goal when you plan your steps intelligently and establish a timeframe that allows you to carry out those steps. When you outline your goals you develop your self-image. This will make you to start seeing yourself worthy of your set goals, and develop the personality that allow you to possess them. Always remember that achievable goals motivate and impossible goals de- motivate.
I need to draw a proposed plan for my new building.
For this goal to be achievable, you must have a skill set (that of an architect) which allows you to understand the nature of your goal. Also, the goal must be challenging for you to remain interested in and dedicated to achieving it.
Is it realistic? A realistic goal should be sensibly measured against which you are both willing and able to work on. In business, goals should be measured against business model, mission statement, market, client base, industry and even your specific position within the organisation. Ask yourself the questions below:
Am I capable of achieving this goal?
Am I prepared to work for this goal?
Is this a primary or secondary goal?
You alone can decide just how high your goal should be. Be sure that every goal denotes a significant progress. A high goal is often easier to attain as compared to a low one because it exerts low motivational energy.
If your expertise were in Marketing, it would be unrealistic to set a goal for hiring employees within an organisation you manage. That would be more appropriate for someone in the Human Resources department to set.
Is it time-bound? Every goal needs a deadline. A deadline set to achieve a goal reminds us of the urgency and possibly the time required to spend on each steps or process of the goal. Deadline strengthens the importance of the goal in your mind. It motivates you to act on your set goals. When you don’t set a timeframe for your goals, there would be no motivation or internal force to accomplish the goal, so it gets buried in the hole. Knowing how imperative time is in achieving your goal, after you might have set the required timeframe, ask yourself the below questions:
What can I do today to achieve my goal?
What can I do 1 month from now to achieve my goal?
What can I do 3 months from now to achieve my goal?
Is it manageable?
Don’t forget to consider all of your urgencies and time limitations and please remember to set a realistic goal. If external forces (PESTLE) are making the deadline unrealistic, then look at ways to change the strategy for completion. E.g. outsourcing some tasks associated with the goal might help.
I need to create an ecommerce website for my fashion store. Not time-bound
I need to create an ecommerce website by the end of June 30th 2015 starting from today Jan 30th 2015 (5months). Time-bound
In conclusion, everyday from young to adult, we set goals daily. Might be to get the car fixed, might be to buy a new car, might be to own a startup, might be to buy a new house by the end of 2015 or might be to get enrolled in choice schools. It’s never too late. Ask yourself the below questions:
What is my goal?
What am I doing about my goal?
Is my goal S.M.A.R.T?
Below is a sample questionnaire that can serve as a guide to help you achieve those goals in a distinct and timely way.
The S.M.A.R.T. Goal Questionnaire
Have you a GOAL? If yes, ask yourself the below questions:
Specific: What will the set goal achieve? What is the required end result? How and why will it be achieved? ————————————————————————————
Measurable: How will the set goal be measured? What are the necessary steps required to attain success? How will I know when the goal has been accomplished? ————————————————————————————————————————
Achievable: Do you have the skills needed to achieve the goal? What are the possible barriers? ——————————————————————————————————-
Realistic: Have you the resources required to accomplish the set goal? If not, what is needed and is it realistic? ———————————————————————————
Time-bound: Does the goal have a timeframe or urgency attached to it? Are there any deadline limitations? Can progress be checked? Is there a reasonable sense of urgency to reach the goal? ——————————————————————————-
Do the Math – the final written goal: – Is it simply and clearly written? Is it S.M.A.R.T.?
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