The next time you set a business goal, career goal or financial goal, think SMART. It is a highly effective model used to achieve and hit your targets.
The SMART philosophy is extremely useful and simple to use. SMART can be applied throughout your entire business. Each department should have a SMART goal. It helps set the path to success because it assists you to set and achieve specific goals that have definable steps and actions.
What is SMART? It is an acronym that stands for specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely.
S – Specific: The goal must be clear and define. It is unambiguous. It should be a goal that narrows down or pinpoints a certain achievement. A specific goal asks the six (6) “W’s”.
Who – who is involve
What – what do you want to accomplish
When – establish a time frame
Where – identify the location
Why – what is the specific purpose, reason or benefit to accomplish this goal
Which – identify the requirements and constraints
M – Measureable: This establishes a concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the goal. Measuring progress will keep you on track if you reach the target dates. They are achievements that will help you stay focus to reach your goal. A measureable goal has three major questions:
How will I know when it is accomplished?
A – Attainable: A goal is attainable (within reach) if you plan your steps wisely and watch your time line. This can be a stretch goal, but should not be one that cannot be accomplished. You build the attitudes, abilities skills and financial capacity to reach them. It helps to think “how” will the goal be accomplished?
R – Realistic: The goal should be within reach and realistic. It should be a relevant goal that represents an objective that is worth working towards.
Does this seem worthwhile?
Can it be accomplished?
T – Timely: A goal must have a timeframe to complete to establish a sense of urgency. A timely or time-based goal should be anchored with a specific date or time. Questions around timely are:
Can this be accomplished in eight weeks?
Can this be accomplished in eight months?
A great benefit of SMART goals is that it can also be applied to your daily life.