Sunday, December 14, 2014

S.M.A.R.T.Y’s Can Set and Accomplish any Goal

I am a goal-oriented person – on a daily basis I think about my activities and their priorities - I do this for all areas of my life whether it’s for work, family or even my hobbies. Personally, I believe if there isn’t a good reason to do something then why spend time on it. This means that my free time is usually filled with activities that all align to my greater plan.

That said, I do a lot of planning and goal setting. As I work on my goals there is always one little mnemonic acronym that comes to mind - S.M.A.R.T. You might be wondering why the title contains a Y, spelling S.M.A.R.T.Y. – I will fill you in on that detail later.

The reality is that goal setting can be pretty easy to do. Jerry Brown said it best; “The reason that everybody likes planning is that nobody has to do anything”.

Setting goals can be easy, the real challenge lies in setting appropriate goals that you can complete and will get you closer to your greater vision. S.M.A.R.T. can help you set appropriate goals and objectives. 

S.M.A.R.T. stands for: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic or Relevant, and Timely

Let’s apply this to some goals and see if they are SMART goals.
1) Write a book on the theory of nanotechnology this year, however I was a Spanish major in college
2) Increase my investment earnings return to 10 percent next year, I got 8 percent last year
3) By next year I’d like to earn my PGA tour card, however I started golfing a year ago
4) Start and develop a profitable company in the next 5 years, I’ve got 10years experience in the field
5) Make lots of friends

Let’s take the five goals listed above, evaluate and ask if these are SMART goals. We need to determine if the goals are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely.

Goal 1:
Sure you might be qualified to write a book but not sure if a Spanish major could pull this off in a year, this goal is neither realistic nor timely.

Goal 2:
The second goal is specific given there is a way to measure your results, it's actionable because you can drive this. 10 percent is realistic given you got 8 percent last year. So I'd say this would be a good goal to set, ideally we’ll need to add some specifics to help make this happen.

Goal #3
The third goal is specific – you can measure it. It’s actionable, however it's neither realistic nor timely – you might like golf but by next year to earn a tour card?

Goal #4
The fourth goal is more realistic, if your going to start a company you should have an idea of what that company will be - but not sure it's that actionable given it’s not specific enough. 

Goal #5
This goal is good because relationships are important - but it lacks actions needed to make it happen, also it’s not timely.

All right it's time for me to explain the Y. I added the Y because setting and realizing goals requires that YOU take ownership of the goals. If you own the goal you'll find a way to accomplish that goal. Also consider if the goals align to your competencies and value system.

So the next time you are writing down your goals ask yourself, "Do my goals make me a SMARTY?

If not it might be time to re-evaluate them and set goals that do make you a SMARTY.

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