SMART goals are objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The SMART criteria help in ensuring clarity, focus, and feasibility for goal-setting, whether in personal or professional contexts.
Specific: The goal should be clear and specific, answering the basic W questions:
What do I want to accomplish?
Why is this goal important?
Who is involved in achieving this goal?
Where will it be done?
Which resources or constraints are involved?
Measurable: It should be possible to measure progress toward the goal's completion. This often involves answering questions like:
How will I know when the goal is accomplished?
Achievable: The goal should be realistic and attainable given the available resources and constraints. This doesn't mean the goal should be easy, but it should be possible. This involves considering:
Do I have the necessary resources and capabilities?
Can I commit to achieving this goal?
Relevant: The goal should matter in the larger context, whether that's in relation to personal aspirations, company objectives, or another broader purpose. It should be worthwhile and align with other related goals. Ask yourself:
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time to pursue this goal?
Does it align with my other efforts or needs?
Time-bound: The goal should have a deadline or a timeframe for completion. This helps create a sense of urgency and makes it clear when you should evaluate your progress. Consider:
When will this goal be achieved?
What can I do six months from now?
What can I do six weeks from now?
What can I do today?
Setting SMART goals provides clarity, motivation, and a clear roadmap to achieving objectives. By ensuring your goals meet these criteria, you can increase the likelihood of success, track your progress effectively, and maintain focus on what's important.