S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals


Get SMARTER with your goal setting strategies.

In a previous post we mentioned the importance of using the SMART goal framework to assist with your goal setting. SMART is a mnemonic device that comes up often in coaching, self-help, and goal setting conversations because of its usefulness. It stands for:

S (Specific): Your goal must be clearly stated and laid out. Rather than “I will write a great novel,” a more specific statement is “I will write my first novel in a year.” Consider the who, what, when, where, how, and why in defining your goal.

M (Measurable): Your goal must be able to be quantifiable, with specific measurable objectives that indicate whether a goal has been achieved. Rather than “I will increase my business’s social media presence,” the better choice is, “I will increase my business’s social media engagement by X percent.”

A (Attainable): Your goal must fall within the scope of your abilities, resources, and time. You may dream of opening 12 new locations for your store next year, but are sales strong enough and do you have enough time and resources to manage such a project?

R (Relevant): Your goal should be in line with your other objectives. You may have a great idea for a side business or new bucket list item, but does that goal conflict or interfere with other goals, such as spending more time with your family or building your business’s reputation as an authority in your field?

T (Time-Bound): Your goal should be built into a specific time frame. Going back to an earlier example, for “I will increase my business’s social media engagement by X percent,” to make this better we should have a time frame attached to it, such as “I will increase my business’s social media engagement by X percent within X months.”

When you miss milestones or fail to achieve your goals, it has a disheartening effect that can derail your motivation. Using SMART criteria keeps you from wasting your time with unrealistic goals that you will never achieve.

Two additional criteria to make SMARTER goals:

E (Ethical): The goal should be in line with your own moral compass. Say you want to increase your sales volume. Do you want to achieve this through honest means, or by using pushy, hard-selling tactics that bully your clients into buying your product? We tend to stay with goals that are aligned with our values and ethics, and abandon those that are not.

R (Recorded): The goal should be recorded. Write down your goal and all the steps you are taking to achieve it. As the days, weeks and months wear on, keep tracking your progress, the obstaces you encounter, and how you plan to overcome them.

As you pursue your goals, try using the SMARTER criteria to help move yourself forward. If you have additional tips about goal setting please leave them in the comment section below.