SMART Goals-A clever acronym for a goal setting framework. By including these five types of details, your goal is more likely to succeed.
S-Specific: Be as clear and detailed as you can be.
M-Measurable: Decide what success looks like and how you will recognize it.
A-Achievable: Make sure you have enough time, talent, and resources available to reach your goal on time.
R-Relevant: Is this what is important for you now? Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.
T-Timely: Give yourself a deadline that you can meet.
Now let’s create your goal statement- For this example, let’s say you have decided to work on sales. The five traits need to all tie together. SMART is easy to remember but when you are applying the framework, it is more effective to start out of order.
Relevant: This is the most important step in my opinion and one where I have seen the most struggle. I like to start with this one and then come back to it as we go through the other letters to make sure we stay on track.
To avoid pitfalls, get perspective on your business before you plan. You can choose goals that are important to your organization’s health and growth when you really understand your business needs and why you are choosing a goal. Be confident that you are addressing problems at their root cause before you take action. If you address only a symptom, you can make the problem worse while wasting time.
For example: you need more money. Look at your reasons before you move on. When do you need it? Why? What will you use the money for? How much do you need?
Specific & Measurable: More money is way too general. Setting your target at adding 5 new clients or $10k in new revenue is much more specific and measurable. You will definitely know if you reached your goal or not, plus you should be able to gauge your progress toward the final goal as you go.
Achievable: Now we will make sure we can do it. Industry knowledge and your experience will tell you if you have the talent and resources for you to meet your goal. Don’t set yourself up for failure by being unrealistic. A stretch is okay, but don’t push your team so far that the goal feels impossible and you give up before you get started.
Timely: Most businesses have quarterly or annual goals so it can feel like a no-brainer to pick a deadline. Unfortunately, it is just as easy to pick a bad deadline without considering specifics. Remember that you will probably add this work on to everything else you already do, so now is the time to figure out how long you will need to fit in in.
You will get results using this system. Even if you miss your complete goal, you will have made progress that you can build on. So what are you waiting for? Get started now!