Targeting is one of the aspects of success in our personal and work life that determines our path and gives us enough motivation and focus to reach our destination. The SMART goal-setting technique is one of the most useful ways to help achieve the goals we set.
The word SMART actually consists of the keywords Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Therefore, this method in compliance with all these criteria will help you to focus on your efforts and increase your chances of success.
SMART goals have the following characteristics.
- Specific – They are well defined, clear and there is no ambiguity
- Measurable – have specific metrics that can be used to measure success in completing a path
- Achievable – They are achievable and it is not far from the mind to achieve them
- Realistic – accessible, realistic, and relevant to the purpose of life
- Time-bound – has a specific time interval, including start and end dates (the purpose is to create an emergency)
Now that we are familiar with the general features of this method, we will continue to examine each of these components in more detail.
Goals that are clear are more likely to be achieved. Consider these questions to turn a goal into a clear goal.
- Who is involved in this goal?
- What should I do?
- Where should I reach this goal?
- When should I reach this goal?
- Why do I want to achieve this goal?
For example, consider the goal: “I want to be fit.” If we want to turn this goal into a specific goal, we can express it like this: “I want to be a member of a club near my place of residence and train 4 days a week to be healthy.”
A SMART goal must have a scale to measure our progress. If such a criterion is not available, it means that you can not determine your progress and whether you are on the right track. Consider the following questions to make a goal measurable.
- How much / how much?
- How do I know if I have reached my goal?
- What is the measure of my progress?
Consider again the example given in the Specific factor explanation, this time with a measure of progress added: “I want to be a member of a club near where I live and train four days a week to stay healthy. “Every week, my goal will be to have a certain amount of fat burning.”
For our goal to become a SMART goal, it must also be achievable. This factor helps you identify the ways in which you can get closer to your goal and move on. The accessibility of the goal should be such that you feel you are facing a challenge, but it should be defined in such a way that achieving it is not far-fetched. To turn your goal into such a goal, ask the following questions.
- Do I have the resources and abilities to achieve this goal? If not, find out what those shortcomings are.
- Have others before me succeeded in achieving this goal?
Goal realism is another component of SMART goal-setting. The goal should in fact be achievable given the resources and time available. We call a goal realistic when we believe it can be achieved. To reach such a belief, seek answers to the following questions.
- Is my goal real (not imaginary) and achievable?
- Can I reach it given the resources and time I have?
- Am I committed to achieving this goal?
Another characteristic that is emphasized in SMART goal setting is the timeliness of the goal, which means having a specific time period (start and end). If your goal is not timed, you will not feel compelled to do so and as a result, your motivation to achieve it will decrease. Answer the following two questions to investigate this issue.
- Does my goal have a deadline?
- How long do I want to reach my goal?
Recall the example of the club and fitness mentioned earlier: “On the first day of the month, I become a member of the neighborhood club. To be healthy, I exercise 4 days a week. Every week, I will have a certain amount of fat burning. “By the end of the month, I will find out if I have achieved the amount of fat-burning intended for a period of one month.”
The importance of SMART targeting
Most individuals or businesses often fail by setting unrealistic goals such as “I want to be the best in a field”. Such goals are vague and no path has been identified to achieve them.
SMART Goal Setting helps you move toward success by setting a goal that is clear, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. This method will help you progress by charting the path and prioritizing the goals.
Source: Corporate Finance Institute