Goal setting is essential to the whole human endeavor Life is geared towards goal setting and achieving goals, Goals setting is critical and important in the day to day activities of us. Humans set goals in every area and aspect of our lives, goals like where we see ourselves, what we want to do at work, what we like to do in our spare time. Priorities are everything, goals are always being made whether you make a conscious goal or go subconsciously. Without goals, setting life becomes a gamble, the saying that if you don’t have a grasp if the river, then it can swing you anywhere, you will be at the river’s mercy. The same is said about life if you don’t have control, life becomes chaotic, and you’ll become a victim of coincidence.
In this Article, we try to evaluate what SMART goals setting means, and give you an insight, how you can use SMART goals setting tools, to enable you to get optimum efficiency and productivity in all your endeavors.
In corporate life, as well as in the life of individuals, SMART goal setting brings structure and track-ability into your goals and objectives. SMART goal setting is one of the least used tools and yet most effective for achieving goals. Instead of setting vague goals, SMART goals setting helps you set specific intermediary goals that are attainable, SMART goal setting also creates transparency throughout the company. It clarifies the way goals came into existence, and the criteria for their realization will conform to. Every goal or objective, from intermediary step to overarching objective, can be made S.M.A.R.T. and as such, brought closer to reality.
What does S.M.A.R.T. goal setting mean? It means goals should conform to the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
SPECIFIC: Your goal should be clear and specific, and not vague or unrealistic, you should know what exactly you want to achieve? Otherwise you won’t be able to feel truly motivated and focus your efforts or to achieving it. The more specific your goal is, the greater the chance you’ll get exactly achieving it. Questions you may ask yourself when setting your goals and objectives are. What is the reason I want to reach this goal? What exactly do I want to achieve? Where? With whom? When? How? What are other alternative ways of achieving the same goal? What are the conditions and limitations?
Measurable: It’s important to have measurable goals. Defining and assessing the progress of your goal or objective helps you meet your goal deadlines, stay focused, and feel the happiness of getting closer to achieving your goal. Measurable goals mean that you define what exactly you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. Measurable goals can go a long way in defining what exactly it is that you want too, so you can track your progress and stay motivated. It means breaking your goal down into measurable elements. Thereby making your goal clearer, and easier to achieve. A measurable goal should address questions such as. How many? How much? How will I know when the goal is attained?
Attainable: You need to have realistic and attainable goals for it to be successful. This means investigating whether the goal really is acceptable to you. It should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. If you don’t have the time, money or talent to reach a certain goal you’ll certainly fail miserably. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the moon, if you fail to reach the moon you may land on the stars, weigh the effort, time and other costs your goal will take against the profits and the other obligations and priorities you have in life. You also may be able to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to it. An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as: How realistic is the goal? How can I accomplish this goal based on other constraints, such as financial constraint?
Relevant: You should ensure your goal matters to you. Is reaching your goal relevant to you? If you’re lacking certain skills and certain resources, you can plan trainings and look for ways of getting them, and aligning your goals with the relevant skills and resources you need. Make sure that your plans are relevant and drive you forward towards achieving your goals, but that you’re still responsible for achieving your own goal. We all need support and assistance in reaching our goals, You could think in terms having a bigger team to enable you achieve your relevant goal and make you perform better, but it’s important to retain control over them. The main questions maybe, what is the aim behind the goal, and will this aim be really achieved? What is the reason behind reaching this goal?
Time-Bound: Time is money! Every goal needs a target date, Make a tentative plan of everything you do, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. Everybody knows that deadlines are what makes most people switch to action. This part of the SMART goal helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals. So keep morale high, set deadlines, for yourself and your business and pursue them, that way you can. Keep the timeline flexible, Being too strict on the time-bound aspect of your goal setting can inadvertently affect making learning path to achieving your goals and objectives into a race against time which is most likely not how you want to achieve anything. A timely goal will usually answer questions such as, what can I do one year from now? When can I do this tasks? Can I do this six weeks from now? Can I do it today?
Finally Always Remember that what you focus on, increases. It’s another thing that’s very important when setting SMART goals, so when you focus on doing something, all you think about is that thing that you want to achieve. And it will increase. So ‘stop procrastinating’, and achieve a SMART goal.