SMART is an acronym for a goal that stands for:
This SMART goal format can help you set and achieve both short-term and long-term goals. You can use this format for business goals and personal goals.
This format is designed to make you, or your team, think through your goals to ensure that they are realistic. It also makes you think about what steps need to be taken in order to achieve those goals. Along with what time frame you want to achieve those goals.
It's important to approach SMART goals with an open mind and with optimism. After all, you're more likely to achieve a goal that you feel good about.
Let's take a look at some examples of SMART goals.
A good goal is one that states exactly what it wants and how to achieve it. If your goal is too vague there's not a lot to go on.
For example, creating a goal by saying "I want to complete a project" isn't very helpful. When trying to be specific its important to remember the 5 W's:
What are you trying to accomplish and why? Who all should be involved and where does their attention need to be? What steps need to be taken to achieve your goal, and when does each step need to be done?
A specific goal should sound like this " I want to complete an art project, by painting a mural on my living room wall. I will work on it for 30 minutes each day until it's finished. I want to be done with this project by next month."
If you do find your goal to be a bit lofty, or more of a long-term goal, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller steps. Then use those smaller steps as individual goals.
Your goal should be quantifiable, you should be able to measure your progress and growth. This helps us to know if we are on track and if we have areas we need to improve on to reach our goals. For some goals, this may be as simple as using timers, or other simple metrics but other goals may not be as simple.
Sticking with our art project from earlier, we may choose to measure our progress by how much of the wall we have covered each day. We could do this by taking a picture each day after we've completed our thirty minutes of paint time. Giving us a running progress report measuring how far we've come from the beginning of the project.
Is your goal achievable? Say our art project is to cover the outside wall of a ten-story building. Would we really be able to complete that project in a month while only painting thirty minutes a day?
As you can see dreaming can be problematic when you're trying to set SMART goals. Our original goal of painting our living room wall on the other hand could be achieved going by the parameters we previously set.
It's important to set these smaller obtainable goals. This way we can build on our progress to reach those "big dreams".
This part of the SMART goals acronym is your why. Why do you want to achieve this goal? Is it to increase your skills as an artist? Do you want to increase the aesthetic value of your home?
It's important that your goal be relevant to what you are wanting to achieve in the future. Would you want to paint a mural in your home if you plan to sell it in the next month? Probably not, if that's the case your goal would probably need to be more about freshening up the paint throughout your house.
When thinking about whether your goal is relevant or not it could be helpful to have your end goal and aspirations in mind while setting your goals.
This is probably the most important step in setting SMART goals. By setting a deadline or a time limit you make a commitment to yourself or your team. Gives you the motivation to see the project all the way through.
This is especially true if you've broken down a more ambitious goal into smaller steps. The more time you take to achieve this smaller goal could further push back those bigger plans you want to achieve.
Putting a time limit to achieve your goal also helps give you a gauge to measure your progress throughout the project. It can also help keep you on track if you do start to fall behind.
More Examples of SMART Goals
Let's take a look at another example of a SMART goal. Let's say you are a high school senior wanting to be a doctor after college.
This is a very broad goal, in other words, it's not very specific. So let's break it down into smaller, more specific goals.
"I want to graduate in the top 10 of my class at the end of the school year. I can do this by staying on top of my homework, studying hard, and asking a teacher for help if I need it. "
You've specified what you want and how long it will take. You've listed the steps you will need to take to achieve this goal and who the goal involves. Plus it's relevant to your broader goal of wanting to be a doctor.
Sometimes knowing how to set a goal is only half of the battle. If you're feeling trepidation about doing it on your own look here for an automated solution.
Achieve More With Us
We hope these examples of SMART goals help you achieve all of your long-term goals. Remember your five W's can really help you focus on breaking your goals down into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
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