Setting SMART goals

goal-1955252_1920I’m in the process of writing my professional goals for the next year at work. So, it’s a good time to focus on some best practices for goal-setting. Rather than just shooting blindly for the stars, I’m going to set SMART goals so I can prove I’ve reached them during my annual review.

What are SMART goals? Each goal is written to include the following five elements. The first letter of each spells out the acronym “SMART.” SMART goals are:

Specific – They identity who, what, when, where and why. What exactly do I need, or want, to do?

Measurable – A SMART goal can be quantified in some way. Without metrics, I won’t be able to know if I’ve achieved a goal, or how far I need to go to get there.

Attainable – The end result needs to be attainable based on my skills and experience.

Realistic – I must be honest with myself about what I can achieve, considering my workload, upcoming projects and available time, and set goals that are realistic given these constraints.

Time-bound – A SMART goal has dates associated with key milestones and a final deadline for when it will be achieved. I’ll need to revisit the timeline periodically to make sure I’m on track, or if a variance from the original dates is required (and justified).

The SMART technique also works for personal goals.

Do you have any other tips for goal-setting? Please share in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “Setting SMART goals

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  1. Great advice. I like to set daily, weekly, monthly and then annual goals, so that I can continuously measure if I am on track to achieve my annual goals.

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