How Smart Should Your SMART Goals Be?

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Life is about setting and achieving goals. The same applies to our careers and business lives. To avoid chaos and disappointments, starting off a new year with well developed sound goals is a smart way to manage your own personal perfomance or those of your organisation. Usually in a business environment, even though a company may have it’s own overall SMART goals, many company leaders go ahead to encourage their  employees to set their goals which support their organisation’s main goals. A SMART goal is one which is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results focused and Time bound

A Specific goal should be simplistically written with a clear definition of  the What, How and Why you are going to do it.

A Measurable goal is one with tangible evidence. It’s about defining the physical manifestation of your desirable goals by identifying what exactly you want to see, feel, hear or even taste once you reach that goal. For example-

Not smoking anymore because you adhere to healthier lifestyle where you are committed to eat in vegetables and fruits twice or thrice a day  and exercise twice a week .

Of course there are many more examples, but the bottom line is to establish a concrecte criteria that helps to measure progress towards attaining the goals set.

The importance of measuring progress not only helps to stay on track, but also enables one to have a a realtime experience of each step of the progress towards attaining those desirable results.

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Once a goal has been identified, investigate if your goal is Achievable or Attainable.Depending on how you look at it and what you are willing to do to achieve your goals, always remember anything is possible. You can attain almost any goal if you carefully plan your steps wisely and act accordingly. Careful though! I came across and an article on FORBES-(‘SMART’ Goals Can Sometimes Be Dumb) where the author states that goals that are ‘Achievable’ and ‘Realistic’ do make the SMART goals pretty dumb because they may not act as enablers of achievement thus encouraging mediocrity and poor performance.

Well, as mentioned earlier, it depends on how you look at it and what you’re willing to make it happen. It is therefore important to figure out smart ways to accomplish your goals. This may mean, develop the right attitude, mindset, skills, have the right team members and of course, if required, ensure that you secure right amount of the financial resources to get the work done. Also notable, in a working environment, attainable goals also serve as a motivating factor for the employees which keeps them feeling positively challenged and wanting to achieve more without wearing out or giving up easily. Still on the Forbes article, the author further suggests  another alternative, HARD goals, which according to studies are more likely to drive great achievements than the SMART goals.

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In business organisations, Results-focused goals should measure outcomes and careful not to loose focus by trying to measure aach and every activity involved along the process. (Here is an excellent article expounding on that). As for a company’s labor force, performance evaluation can play a big role in attaining the setl goals regardless of the size or type of the business or even the company’s departments. Employees not measure their actual performance against expected performance, but also identify key areas that need to be improved in order to achieve goals (higher) (More on that here)

Goals should be Timely- Anyone can create a goal but not every one achieves them. Time is money! A goal should be grounded within a time frame which creates a practical sense of urgency and calls for commitment.  For example  installing deadlines, enables people to switch to (swift) action. However, the timeline should be realistic and not too stringet in order to keep the motivation and morale still high.

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