SMART Goals

SMART is a powerful acronym for setting the right kind of goals:

  • Specific – be precise about what you want or what you’re going to do
  • Measurable – see progress and success
  • Achievable – pragmatic – realistic stretch
  • Relevant – consistent with your bigger, long term goals – move one step at a time
  • Time bound – focus on a deadline

I love this quote from the great management guru Brian Tracy

“Be a meaningful specific and not a wandering generality.”

You do that when you set goals that are SMART.

Specific

Be as precise as you can be about what you are going to do or what you are going to achieve.

It’s not “my goal is to walk the dog this week” but “my goal is to walk the dog every morning for 30 minutes.”

A specific goal gives you clarity in your actions and writing a specific goal forces you to have clarity in your thinking.

In a business context, your goal might be “I’m going to attract ten potential new customers this month, take them through my qualifying process and convert at least three into paying customers.”

Measurable

Measurable goes hand in hand with specific but it pushes you that bit further.

Having a measure gives you the chance to decide whether you have succeeded and to monitor your performance along the way.

If my goal is to “walk my dog for 2 miles in 30 minutes every day” because distance and speed are important elements to the quality of my exercise, then I can monitor my progress at key stages and speed up if necessary.

Achievable

In my story of Brian and Barry on the main Setting Goals tutorial, I showed you the two ways to set goals.

The first is to set goals that are quite modest but you are absolutely committed to achieving.

The second way is to set stretch goals which present a real challenge but even if you miss your target, you still achieve something remarkable.

The way not to set goals is to aim so high, your mind keeps thinking “I’ve got no chance of doing that.”

Your goals need to be achievable.

Yes perhaps everything has to go right to do it but you must believe it’s possible.

Relevant

So far your goal is Specific, Measurable and Achievable.

It also has to be relevant.

There’s no value in setting a goal that isn’t important to you.

You need to be committed because the goal fits in with the other things you want in your life.

Time-Bound

Remember the Napoleon Hill quote?

“A goal is a dream with a deadline”.

The deadline bit is important.

It creates urgency and helps to counter the “I’ll do that tomorrow” or even worse “I’ll do that next week.”

Summary

Write your goals down and then audit them.

Ask yourself if it is SMART.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound

If it is, you’ve got a powerful goal.

If not, go back and revise your words.

Return to P2m4 Your Goals

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