SMART is a short form, an acronym, for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable and Time Bound. It is a great goal setting tool. It is, not a magic bullet. You still have to be engaged and do the work and SMART will make your life more effective and focussed.
S means the goal must be Specific and not vague. A non specific goal would be, "Get in shape." A specific goal is “Join a fitness club and workout 4 days a week.”
The more precise the goal, the more focussed and effective you are.
M means Measurable. How will you know when you have achieved the goal if you can not measure your progress? Ask yourself questions like……How much? How many? How will I know when it is done? When? What will it cost? What are important milestones?
Measurement is also a motivator. How long have I come and how much is left? When broken into doable, bite sized pieces your progress and the fulfillment of sub-goals gives you and your project momentum and confidence. Measurement is about trust. If completed in the stated timeframe you believe in yourself and others believe in you. You have increased or established your value and are trustworthy and self confident.
A stands for Achievable. A SMART goal must be attainable given the available resources and it should be agreed upon by all parties. Agreement establishes commitment, creates stronger possibilities and smoother workflow. A challenging goal is motivating but it must be seen to be possible.
R is for Reasonable.It is important that the goal stretch participants, but it should be realistic and relevant to you and your company. Ensure the actions you need to take to achieve your goal are things you can do and control.
T is for Time bound. The goal should be finished within a given time frame. Without a time frame you do not control your outcomes and your effectiveness and costs are likely to climb.
An expanded version SMARTER is just common sense on top of SMART. The E and the R stand for Evaluate and Repeat. Simply put, SMARTER says look at what you have done and evaluate it against the planned outcomes. Was it on target? Are there some adjustments to make it better? And then repeat the SMART part over again.
The SMART goal setting process can be used for projects in your work life or equally well for personal goals such as fitness, learning new skills, improving a relationship,health or personal and spiritual development. An experienced coach is a very valuable help in setting and reaching your desired goals.
Using SMART goals is a great motivator, organizer and tracker of activity. Use it and you will be pleased with the results. It will give you better effectiveness and results.
What do they like to say? "Fail to plan and you plan to fail!" ®
Live SMART and prosper! Bob and Marianne