Do you still remember how you can transform your mission statement into work objectives? You also need not forget that your business exists to achieve multiple objectives but your work objectives should be in line with your company’s mission and its strategy – which describes how the company seeks to fulfil its mission. If you haven’t read the How do you Transform your Mission Statement Into Objectives? then it’s important you do so to enable you to enjoy what was discussed.
I will be sharing another important part of the Goal Setting Series which is SMART GOALS.
A lot of us might have heard of the popular acronym while some have not. Well, the good news is I’ll be discussing it today.
What is a SMART goal?
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting.
Its criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept. The first known use of the term occurs in the November 1981 Issue of Management Review by George T. Doran. Since then, Professor Robert S. Rubin (Saint Louis University) wrote about SMART in an article for The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Goals are part of every aspect of business/life and provide a sense of direction, motivation, a clear focus, and clarify importance. By setting goals, you are providing yourself with a target to aim for. A SMART goal is used to help guide goal setting.
Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving your goal.
To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
*Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
*Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
*Achievable (agreed, attainable).
*Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
*Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
SMART Goal – Specific
Goals that are specific have a significantly greater chance of being accomplished. To make a goal specific, the five “W” questions must be considered:
- Who: Who is involved in this goal?
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Where is this goal to be achieved?
- When: When do I want to achieve this goal?
- Why: Why do I want to achieve this goal?
For example, a general goal would be “I want to get in shape.” A more specific goal would be “I want to obtain a gym membership at my local community centre and work out four days a week to be healthier.”
SMART Goal – Measurable
A SMART goal must-have criteria for measuring progress. If there are no criteria, you will not be able to determine your progress and if you are on track to reach your goal. To make a goal measurable, ask yourself:
- How many/much?
- How do I know if I have reached my goal?
- What is my indicator of progress?
For example, building on the specific goal above: I want to obtain a gym membership at my local community centre and work out four days a week to be healthier. Every week, I will aim to lose one pound of body fat.
SMART Goal – Achievable
A SMART goal must be achievable and attainable. This will help you figure out ways you can realize that goal and work towards it. The achievability of the goal should be stretched to make you feel challenged, but defined well enough that you can actually achieve it. Ask yourself:
- Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve the goal? If not, what am I missing?
- Have others done it successfully before?
SMART Goal – Realistic
A SMART goal must be realistic in that the goal can be realistically achieved given the available resources and time. A SMART goal is likely realistic if you believe that it can be accomplished. Ask yourself:
- Is the goal realistic and within reach?
- Is the goal reachable, given the time and resources?
- Are you able to commit to achieving the goal?
SMART Goal – Timely
A SMART goal must be time-bound in that it has a start and finish date. If the goal is not time-constrained, there will be no sense of urgency and, therefore, less motivation to achieve the goal. Ask yourself:
- Does my goal have a deadline?
- By when do you want to achieve your goal?
For example, building on the goal above: On August 1, I will obtain a gym membership at my local community centre. In order to be healthier, I will work out four days a week. Every week, I will aim to lose one pound of body fat. By the end of August, I will have realized my goal if I lose four pounds of fat over the course of the month.
The Importance of SMART Goal Setting
Often, individuals or businesses will set themselves up for failure by setting general and unrealistic goals such as “I want to be the best at X.” This goal is vague, with no sense of direction.
SMART goals set you up for success by making goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. The SMART method helps push you further, gives you a sense of direction, and helps you organize and reach your goals.
My advice to you is that you should consciously try to practise everything you’ve learnt. By doing that, your business is on its way to all-round success.
You can catch up on the Goal Setting Series here.