How to Set SMART Goals

The first step in successfully executing a goal is to state it properly. A well-stated goal clearly explains what you are trying to achieve and in what time frame. A well-stated goal is the foundation of an effective business action plan. An acronym that is commonly used to define a properly stated goal is SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistically High
  • Time-based

While these criteria seem simple, they can be difficult to perfect. Allow me to summarize briefly what each of these criteria means:

Specific. Fuzzy goals are destined for failure. For example, “We are going to establish a new training program for our supervisors by 10/1/XX.” You are not defining what you want your supervisors to learn.

Measurable. How do you know when the goal has been achieved? State the goal in a way where this is clearly described. For example, “We are going to increase the frequency of meetings with our hourly staff.” How often will you meet and what will be discussed?

Realistically High. Goals must be lofty enough so you challenge yourself but still realistically attainable. In other words, you don’t want to trip over them. If the goal is too low/easy it will not motivate extra effort, but if it is too high no one will take it seriously because it seems out of reach.

Time-Based. What is the time frame for completing this goal? Set a deadline so the goals aren’t just floating out there for years.

Here is an example of a SMART goal:

Get 10 appointments with decision-makers in the hospitality industry that employ more than 250 people and are located within 50 miles of Miami area by the end of the quarter.

Take a few minutes a write a SMART goal for yourself—personal or professional. Work to refine it until it encompasses all the above criteria.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please visit his website at activategroupinc.com or contact Howard Shore at (305) 722-7216 or email him.

Business Coaching, Motivation