SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving your goal.
Let's look at each component individually.
Your goals need to be simple, clear, and specific. A vague goal just won’t cut it in the SMART framework.
For example, imagine you have a goal that states:
‘My goal is to increase sales.’
That’s great, but there are many questions unaddressed. How much increase would you like to see? How do you plan to accomplish an increase in sales? What’s your deadline?
Think about the specifics, and that vague goal might turn into something more like this:
‘My goal is to achieve a 20% increase in sales in the next 3 months by improving my business' customer experience.’
Doing this eliminates any possibility of confusion and allows you to look at your goal in smaller pieces.
If you’re setting goals, you need to have some form of measurement set in place to determine your success.
Think about our previous example. We can clearly see that an increase of 20% in sales means that the goal is accomplished. Now picture the goal without the numbers. How will you know when you’ve hit the goal?
The short answer is, you won't. Think of measurements in goals as a marker on a map showing you where you are.
You can also create measurements that are physically tangible. If your goal is "to increase sales by 20%" think about the revenue or units behind that. 20% then becomes 15 units or $3,000. You want your goals to feel the most natural so you will stick to them, Adjust based on how your brain works.
To be SMART, you must have an achievable goal.
When you’re creating your next goal, ask yourself this:
Based on my experience and the resources available, can I achieve this?
If the answer is ‘no’, you might want to look at breaking that large goal up into more achievable sections. Or better yet, sit down and write all the resources and knowledge you need to gain in order to accomplish that goal. A no at the current moment could become a yes with the right planning.
SMART goals are always relevant to the bigger picture, and most importantly resonate with your core "why". You are going to be more motivated to accomplish a goal that you are passionate about. This means aligning goals with the company’s overall objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Imagine your company has a KPI that involves breaking into a new market.
So instead of creating a SMART goal that focuses on growing your existing customer base, you might want to implement a specific goal that focuses on reaching customers from the new market.
As a result, you’ve got a relevant goal that’s contributing towards the overall success of the company.
Every SMART goal must be time sensitive. Without a deadline, who knows when a goal is accomplished? More likely than not, your goal will slide out of your focus and be left abandoned.
To avoid that painful scenario, all SMART goals must have a set date for completion. Whether that’s at the end of each Month, each quarter, or the end of each year; you must include a time frame so that you have something to work toward and hold yourself accountable.
Now that you've gone through our crash course of the SMART goal method its time to put it into practice. We've added a downloadable worksheet below to help along the process.
We love goals at Revby. Sound off below what your goal is!