The S.M.A.R.T goal method was created by George T. Doran and has been used by numerous motivational speakers and authors to help their audience set detailed goals.
Specific: Is your goal specific and clearly stated?
Measurable: Do you have target dates and milestones in place to keep you on track?
Attainable: Make sure you are setting goals that you want to achieve. Setting goals you have no desire to work to will only erode the process for all other goals.
Relevant: Is this goal in line with the direction you want to go?
Time-Based: You should have end points for each task, milestone and overall success to ensure the goal is achieved
Focus on only a couple goals at a time. Writing down 5, 6, 7 etc. goals can be a distraction. Have 3 monthly goals, with a few long-term goals as well to keep you focused on the bigger picture.
Put your goals in writing – pen and paper. It is too easy for goals to get lost in your hard drive and overlooked. Having them on paper will make you write them out, and carry with you.
Make your goal sheet a living document. Keep your goals on you and take notes. Write down ideas, alter if needed depending on circumstances, etc. These are yours, own them.
Set Bigger Goals. Your goals should take some effort to reach. If they are too easy, they are no longer goals, they are tasks. It is more than just accomplishing the goal, it is the effort and the determination that help you find new opportunity and grow.
Example: 2 Agents. One has a goal of 12 sales a month and the other has a goal of 20. The agent with 20 goals is going to work harder as they have a larger goal.
Both agents pass their goals by 10%. Would you rather have 11 sales (the agent with a goal of 12) or 22 sales (the agent with a goal of 20)? Of course, the second agent. They have double the sales of the first agent!!! Go become that agent.
“Attitude is Everything” by Paul J. Meyer
For more details about S.M.A.R.T Goal setting, here is an excerpt from “Attitude is Everything” by Paul J. Meyer
The criterion stresses the need for a specific goal rather than a more general one. This means the goal is clear and unambiguous; without vagaries and platitudes. To make goals specific, they must tell a team exactly what’s expected, why it’s important, who’s involved, where it’s going to happen and which attributes are important.
A specific goal will usually answer the five ‘W’ questions:
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
- Who: Who is involved?
- Where: Identify a location.
- Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
The second criterion stresses the need for concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goal. The thought behind this is that if a goal is not measurable it is not possible to know whether a team is making progress toward successful completion. Measuring progress is supposed to help a team stay on track, reach its target dates and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs it on to continued effort required to reach the ultimate goal.
A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
- Indicators should be quantifiable
The third criterion stresses the importance of goals that are realistic and attainable. Whilst an attainable goal may stretch a team in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, since these may be considered meaningless. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills and financial capacity to reach them. The theory states that an attainable goal may cause goal-setters to identify previously overlooked opportunities to bring themselves closer to the achievement of their goals.
An Achievable goal will usually answer the question:
- How: How can the goal be accomplished?
The fourth criterion stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter. A bank manager’s goal to “Make 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by 2pm” may be specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound but lacks relevance. Many times you will need support to accomplish a goal: resources, a champion voice, someone to knock down obstacles. Goals that are relevant to your boss, your team, your organization will receive that needed support.
Relevant goals (when met) drive the team, department and organization forward. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.
A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
- Does this seem worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this match our other efforts/needs?
- Are you the right person?
- Is it applicable in the current socio- economic- technical environment?
The fifth criterion stresses the importance of grounding goals within a time-frame, giving them a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps a team focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the SMART goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency.
A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
Your Goals – Move with them!
Remember these are your goals. They are living, breathing goals meaning they can change. There may be various obstacles or conditions that change over the course of achieving your goal that may change the outcome of the goal. Go with it.
Think of it this way: If you were going to see a client at their home who called you and said “You helped by brother enroll in a plan, and I want the same one. Can you come over and help me.” So, there you are on your way to visit this new client and there is a detour due to road construction, do you turn around and go back to the office because the path was not clear or do you take the detour and see the client?
Of course you would take the detour. Your goals are the same way. Just because you may get off course, does not mean you scrap the entire plan all together.
The same goes for your goals. Just because you may veer off course or things take a turn, does not mean you stop forward progression.
Now set some goals!!!