The SMART Way to Set Goals
by: Jude Wright
Goal setting is equal parts art and science. Many people create goals that simply don’t work. If you’re in business, you don’t have the luxury of creating goals that don’t work. You need to work effectively and you need goals you help you do it.
Here is a great way to create good goals that work… that keep you on track. They’re called SMART goals and the acronym SMART will help you to remember the things that each goal needs to be:
* Specific: Your goal needs to be stated in a way that is clearly defined. Saying, I should work more, is not a goal that will be kept. However, saying, I am going to work a total of 8 hours each day, is a goal that is much clearer and specific.
* Measurable: This is closely related to the above attribute except that it also includes a way to make sure you are on track. A goal that says, I want to make more money, isn’t measurable. However, a goal that says, I want to earn $6000/month, is a far more measurable goal. It’s easy to see, at the end of the month, whether or not you achieved it.
* Actionable: This means that your goal should be something that you need to do yourself in order to accomplish it. If you want to increase your income this year, it’s not realistic to say, I’m going to win the lottery this year, because you have no control over whether you will win the lottery or not. However you might say, I’m going to increase my sales efforts by cold calling 10 people each day, which is something you can take action on yourself.
* Realistic: Goals that are actually achievable are much better and far more motivating. You’ll feel better about yourself when you do hit goals than if constantly shoot for them and fall short. Realistic goals should not be so easy that you hit them every single time but should not be so hard that you never reach them at all.
* Time-oriented: Similar to the measurable attribute, your goal should have a timeframe for you to accomplish it in. Deadlines help people achieve their goals. If you anchor your goal to a time, you’ll be able to watch your progress.
You can remember this with the acronym, SMART, so that when you’re creating goals, you can create better goals for yourself. This is a popular goal-setting acronym in business, although occasionally the words are changed slightly to reflect the needs of the business.
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