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Setting Goals The Smart Way!
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Setting Goals the Smart Way!

Setting goals for yourself is an important way of achieving what you need to. You may have been told to set goals many times but what is the best way to do this? How do you effectively go about ? The process can vary greatly according to what you are trying to achieve. However, there are ways that are more effective than others. So, how do you go about setting goals the smart way? I would like to share one specific method of how to set goals, no matter what you are aiming for. You should ideally not forget the SMART part!

S: Specific

I prefer to think of specific goals as having simple goals. This might seem silly but you'll be surprised as what happens when you set out goals that are over complicated! When you set specific goals for yourself (or others) you will usually tend to make them simple. You shouldn't need a master's degree in mathematics to decipher what goals you have set! Keep it simple - there is no need to over-complicate things. A specific/simple goal will clearly define what you need to achieve.

M: Measurable

Your simple goals that you have set need to measurable. If you cannot measure your goals, how will you know that you have actually achieved them and how will you know if you are making progress? You need some type of measurement to do this. For instance, a sales goal will include a measurement like the amount of sales that you need to do. If you cannot tell how many sales you have done, what's the point of the goal? Without a measurement, you'll have no way to tell if you have achieved your goals or not.

A: Achievable

This part may seem obvious but all too often people set themselves ridiculous goals that are simply impossible. Take the salesman for example. He (or she) sets a goal that is simply out of bounds, like needing to sell 50 cars a month, if he only sees 30 clients. This is simply not do-able (unless a miracle happens)! Make sure that you can achieve your goals so that you don't keep 'moving the goal-posts'. If your goals are not achievable, they will always change and you will probably demotivate yourself in the process. Make sure that your goals are realistic.

R: Relevant

Having relevant goals is actually quite a laughing matter! If you are a salesperson, what would be the point of setting yourself a goal where you need to eat 50 hotdogs in 1 hour? The answer is simple - there is no point! Setting a goal that is not going to get you your target is simply a waste of time. Set goals that matter to you! You need to be able to set goals that get you to where you want. The 'relevant' part makes sure that your goals will be in line with 'the greater picture'! Your goals need to be relevant in order to be effective and of any use.

T: Time

Unfortunately, time waits for no-one. You cannot go back in time or forward (unless you have a time machine and if you did, you'd be extremely wealthy by now, not needing to set yourself any goals!). As we all know, we only have a limited amount of time in life. Thus, we need to realize that the goals we set need to be time-bound. You cannot simply go on and on with trying to achieve your goals. For instance, the sales manager is not going to set a goal of 10 sales for each salesperson, and then say that they can use the rest of their lives to achieve them! No, they will clearly state that the sales are for today, or for the week! Likewise, your goals need to have a time limit. Set a date as the target, like a due-date.

Here is an easy to understand example of a SMART goal: (Lets say you are a salesperson)

You need to sell 2 cars within the next 14 days.

- It's simple (no deciphering required).

- You can measure your progress and the end result, in terms of the amount of cars sold.

- It is achievable, based on the fact that you will actually work at it. If you speak to 10 prospective car buyers every day, you will have spoken (tried to sell a car) to at least 140 people looking to purchase a car. I think selling 2 cars is achievable!

- It certainly is relevant, being a sales person and all!

- Lastly, the goal is definitely time-bound. You only have 14 days!

Using this smart strategy for setting goals will allow you to be able to follow up on your ambitions - it will give you the motivation you need to make sure that you can achieve them and be successful. Motivation often comes automatically when you know your goals are SMART and using this method will make sure that you can follow them. All the best with those goals!

Street Talk

Thank you for the write up! I've used "SMART" throughout my business career and it's the easiest way to help people understand how to prioritize and set professional and personal goals. Thanks for the reminder!

  about 9 years ago
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