Setting SMART goals can help you clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you set out to do. SMART is an acronym that can help guide you with your goal setting. So, what does SMART mean?
- 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.)
How to Use SMART Goals?
- Specific: Your goal should be clear and specific. Try to answer the “W” questions: who, what, when, where, why, and which. Who is involved, what do you want to accomplish, when do you want to complete this goal, where is it located, why is this goal important, and which resources or limits are involved?
- Measurable: It’s important to have measurable goals so you can track your progress and have a timeline as to when you want to complete the goal. This will help you stay motivated. A measurable goal should address questions such as, how much, how many and how will I know when it is accomplished?
- Achievable: Your goals should be realistic and attainable. Your goal should stretch your abilities but still be possible to achieve. An achievable goal will answer questions such as How can I accomplish this goal and how realistic is the goal based on other constraints?
- Relevant: This ensures that your goal matters to you but also aligns with other relevant goals. A relevant goal can answer “yes” to these questions: does this seem worthwhile, is this the right time, does this match our efforts/needs, and am I the right person to reach this goal?
- Time-bound: Every goal needs a target date so you have a deadline to focus on and when you will achieve this goal. A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions: when will I complete this, what can I do six months from now, what can I do six weeks from now and what can I do today?
SMART is an effective tool that provides clarity, focus, and motivation to achieve your goals. Happy Goal Setting!