Goal-setting is important for both your business and your career. Goals help us to focus and react to change with ease. If you want success, it is vital that you set goals and take the initiative and steps to reach them. Consider using the SMART goals method – it works because it’s memorable, and this particular one empowers and enables a successful outcome.
What is a SMART goal?
A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. It is also important that you keep your SMART goals positive.
If you have a specific goal, you are more likely to complete it. To set a goal that is specific, answer who, what, where, when and why. For example, “Be on time,” is less specific than, “Be on time to work every single day this week.”
Can you measure your progress as you attain each goal? This part of smart goals answers “how” questions. This step should answer things like: how will I know when I’ve accomplished my goal? How much? How many? For example, if my goal is to attain an MBA, you will have completed the necessary coursework within two years’ time.
How can you achieve your goal? At this point, you determine the steps to reach your goal and whether or not you can attain them. For example, if your goal is to get a promotion to director of facilities within your current employer. Getting the experience and education is within your reach, but who your competition is and whether or not you are selected is not. It does not mean that you cannot have a promotion as a goal, but you have to consider what you have control over to reach your goals.
Relevant means that you can and will work towards attaining. Since you have control over your goal-setting, only you can decide if your goal is too high or not high enough. Setting high goals can help your motivation to reach them.
Some questions to ask yourself may include:
- Am I genuinely interested in making this goal?
- Can I achieve this goal?
- Is it the right time for me to seek this goal?
- Does my financial situation support this goal?
Perhaps your goal is to expand your team to add more skills. When you ask yourself relevant questions, you may find your goal should be to develop and train your current colleagues.
Every goal needs a time frame. If you do not set a deadline for yourself, you will not accomplish it. It also needs to be a realistic timeline to achieve your goal. If your goal is to train your staff of 50 in a new process, giving yourself several weeks to complete it is more realistic than a few days.
Keep your goals
SMART is a useful tool for your business or your personal goals. SMART goals can motivate your team, and provide direction and focus. If you commit to a goal, it is important that you keep it. You can correct your course, but avoid throwing out your goals completely, or your overall business strategy will suffer.