For some years now managers have been using the system of SMART goals and objectives to help them set targets for themselves and others.
SMART has classically stood for :
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
However, some people have found that SMART doesn’t go far enough. It often leads to mediocre goals. Achievable and Realistic can become confused and can lower our sights. Timely doesn’t always emphasise that we have a deadline to reach. And Measurable does not always mean that measures are established in advance.
My new approach to SMART is an attempt to put right these failings. In this the letters now stand for:
S – Stretching (goals should be challenging, and take us beyond where we are now)
M – Monitored (means must be put in place to monitor progress towards the goal)
A – Aspirational (goals should be motivational, worth the effort)
R – Relevant (and relevant to the bigger picture, the vision, policy or strategy)
T – Time limited (the deadline should be stated in the goal itself).
Examples of NewSMART goals are :
- By the end of the current calendar year, I will have published an article in a professional journal explaining the Success Cycle. I will monitor progress towards the goal using an action plan that incorporates all the steps and timescales involved.
- By the end of October I will have lost two stone in weight. I will monitor progress by comparing my actual weight against a straight-line curve that shows my start weight at 1st January and my planned weight at 31st
The next time you are setting goals, try using this new approach to SMART.
Please sign up to receive my blog and other free material.