Setting goals seems easy; and it can be, if you’re SMART about it. Setting SMART goals has been a strategy that almost every successful person has practiced, so you can too and become better in everything you do.
What are SMART goals?
SMART Goals are
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Agreed Upon
R = Realistic
T = Time-Based
When setting attainable goals you need to be specific. That means asking yourself the following “5 W” questions:
- Who: Who is responsible for working toward the goal? Whose cooperation will be paramount to your success/your reaching your goal?
- What: What exactly do you want to accomplish? You should be as specific as possible – a clear vision translates into a clear path to success!
- When: Is the goal time-sensitive? If it is, how will this impact your construction of the goal, and your actions going forward in terms of working toward achieving the goal?
- Where: Can the goal be reached from within the office space? Will achieving the goal require branching out, or going to see new or existing clients?
- Why: What are the benefits of achieving this goal, for yourself or your business?
The best goals are measurable goals. Measurable goals allow you to assess at any given time how far you are from success, or how close you are to achieving your goals. Asking questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- By when?
…will help you construct measurable goals.
Making sure that your goals are in-line with the business’s vision and mission will ensure that you have the support of the staff and other key role-players who will help you achieve the goal going forward. Make sure when setting goals that you have the support you need from the relevant departments/people to achieve your goals.
In order to qualify as a realistic goal your goal needs to be both attainable and of direct benefit (in one way or another) to the company. A realistic goal needn’t be a small or low goal; some of the biggest or highest goals we set for ourselves are often easier to achieve because they come coupled with high motivational forces – we feel more accomplished when achieving big goals and so we are more driven to reach them. Only you can decide when a big/high goal is realistic or unrealistic for your business at a given point in time – asking the “who, what, when, where and why” questions will help you figure out what time is the right time to set a big goal.
Set deadlines for yourself when constructing goals. A goal without a sense of urgency is easy to ignore; there is no motivational force for meeting a small goal without a finite deadline.
Are your current goals SMART? Improve your goal setting productivity.