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SMART Goals

Updated 12/31/2016



   Want to set some personal goals for you or a
  team?  Look at what SMART Goals will bring to
  your organization in setting quality goals.


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  SMART stands for the specific attributes any goal must include for successful:
              Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.


  Specific 

Without specifics about your objective, how you you evaluate your progress?
Use the below "Five W's" when setting your goal:
 
What do you want to accomplish?
 
Why is it important to you?
 
When will you finish?
 
Who else is involved
 
Where will you get the resources or perform the tasks?

The more specific you get, the easier it will be to measure your progress and see whether or not you’re on track.


  Measurable 

Goals must be measurable thus not vague or general.  Losing weight, lowering blood chemistry numbers (cholesterol or other component(s), etc.) are measurable goals if the number is specified and time bound.  This component of your goal quantifies your progress for tracking.  View these as the Key Performance Indicators (PKI's) for your goal.

Try to find ways to measure goals that don’t seem measurable.  Insure any activity required to achieve a goal can be measured in terms of percentage towards completion, grade average achieved or other measureable metrics as your guide.


  Achievable 

Avoid frustration and failure with achievable goals.  Research what you want to achieve to see if it is actually achievable.  Most experts suggest that 0.5 – 2 pounds per week is healthy, sustainable weight loss, so it would be an achievable goal to lose 50 pounds in a year — but not to lose 50 pounds in a month.

Consider external factors like financial matters when determining if your goal is realistic and achievable.  If debt reduction is critical, you may forgo dining out and redirect those funds against your debt provided that is realistic to your situation.

Do not set goals dependant on someone else to achieve them. Factors or outcomes you have no control over are inappropriate here.  A goal for self improvement is a goal achievable by you.


  Relevant 

Making decisions on what to do is not often easy but it is a personal or a team factor that must be factored in.  Relevance is about if YOU ACTUALLY want to achieve the goal and whether it aligns with other goals.  IS IT RELEVANT TO YOU? 

Whether this is a personal or team activity, as the Team Leader, this is your call.


  Time-Bound 

A time-bound goal means you know when you’re going to achieve your goal and each sub-goal along the way. 

Ask yourself:
 
When will I achieve the goal?
 
What will I have achieved 6 months from now?
 
What will I have achieved 1 month from now?
 
What can I achieve today?

Breaking down goals into more manageable steps is critical.  Without a set time period you can potentially reach any goal if you live long enough.



If you take the time to answer each of these questions to create a framework for your goal, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

For long-term goals the inclusion of an Evaluate and Review period would be prudent.  At regular defined intervals at a scheduled time, you will review what worked, what didn't and reevaluate the effort.  Outcomes could be to continue on, adjust objectives or terminate the effort.