You Need SMART Goals   2 comments

It’s a classic problem:  how do you set goals that are meaningful?  Goals that actually will help you succeed?

According to Wikipedia, the concept of SMART goals first appeared in 1981, and the mnemonic has been re-worked in several directions since then by various writers.  Here’s my take.  Your goals should be SMART:

S – Specific

It’s not enough to create a general goal … such as “I will increase sales” or “I will make more phone calls.”  In the end, those goals aren’t strong enough to stand the test of time.  Rather, you need to make goals that state exactly what you intend to do:  “I will increase sales 5% this year,” or “I will make 50 calls each day next week.”

M – Measurable

Goals have to be measurable … so you know if you made it or not!  “I’m going to work really hard the next month” is not a good goal, because there isn’t a way to reliably evaluate your performance.

A – Attainable

Goals are actually harmful if they are impossible to achieve.  If the goal is to increase sales by 5,000% each of the next 3 years … well, in most companies, that’s not possible.  Sometimes management wants to saddle a sales team with the goals that they “need” to achieve their department goals.  However, if the sales team perceives the goals are impossible, they will quickly ignore the goals … and create different personal goals that they CAN achieve.  You know, goals like “find a new job this month.”

R – Relevant

It might be great to have a goal to cut the grass by 8am (especially in the summer heat!), but is it really important to have that goal?  We all have daily tasks we need to achieve, from cleaning to laundry to grocery shopping.  On the other hand, good goals should propel your life forward either personally or professionally.

T – Timely

Good goals should be time-bound:  “I’m going to increase sales 15% in the month of April over prior year sales” is very specific; sales are going to be increased in the month of April.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I believe in big personal goals, like the 15-year 2012 Plan, or the 5-year goal of Creating Family Photo Scrapbooks.  Big goals are great, certainly, but note that these goals were actually attained.

The best goals are the ones that you focus on, work on, and achieve.  We have all made New Year’s resolutions that don’t survive January before they are forgotten.  Next year, make a SMART goal.

Posted August 7, 2012 by henrymowry in Selling

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2 responses to “You Need SMART Goals

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  1. Hi, I am RyanT Mink, co-founder of Teloslist.

    I like your article. I really think people should share their goals more frequently.

    Anyways, I created a goal-sharing and tracking website which is much simpler and easier to use compared to other similar websites.

    You should check it out. Hope you like it.

  2. As an Adult Literacy tutor-trainer, SMART goals are preached at WORKshops. Not a professional educator by any means, but utilized in my own life and shared with others.

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