Leadership

SMART Goals Examples: What You Can Learn From Them

Have you ever wanted to achieve something in your life but just couldn’t? Perhaps you always wanted your dream car but never saved enough to realize the dream. Or maybe you really wanted shed those extra pounds but ended up gaining more. Here's a tip: Avoid disappointing end results the next time by using SMART goals. To give you an idea of what tip: Avoid disappointing end results the next time by using SMART goals. To give you an idea of what SMART goals are, here are a few examples.

SMART Goals Examples

  1. I will save $7000 for a new car by saving $300 each month from my salary for 2 years.
  2. I will lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks by increasing my exercise routine to 4 times a week, helping me lose 2 pounds each week.
  3. I will acquire two new clients within three months by networking with local businesses in order to grow my business and its revenue.

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym for the criteria of successful goal-setting. They are the conditions for the objectives that are going to help you reach your ultimate goal. As you can guess from above, SMART goals are very specific and can be measured. They will also be achievable, relevant and time-based.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Relevant

T – Time-based

Not only do SMART goals track your progress, they let you take charge of the progress you make. By viewing your own performance, you will also be gaining motivation to follow through with the plan. Here are the ways you can create your own SMART goals or modify existing ones into them.

Specific

What's your goal? Now, answer this - what are the steps you're going to take to accomplish that? These questions are basically what the term Specific covers. Instead of writing down a vague goal like "I want to lose weight," define what you want to achieve with the use of action words. Break down your ultimate goal into smaller goals or objectives that are clear, focused and easy to follow. Words like ‘could' and ‘probably' are not great for goal-setting and should be excluded.

As in the example above, include how much of the weight you're planning to lose and how you're going to go about with it. Mention the precise way you are going to do it, such as by increasing the frequency of your exercise. If need be, make it more specific by including the location or people involved in helping you achieve that goal. One way to see if your goal is specific enough is to mention it to a friend or colleague. If he/she understands it perfectly, then your goal is on its way to being SMART.

Measurable

If you cannot measure the progress of your goal, it isn't a SMART goal. A goal should be measurable for many reasons. They should be able to let you keep track of how you're doing, and, if it's the latter, what you can do to achieve the goal within the target date. Moreover, who doesn't like the thrilling satisfaction of checking something off of their list? Measurable goals let you renew your enthusiasm for the road toward your final goal.

Establish quantifiable indicators so you know how well you're doing. For example, if you are planning to save money, you can use the amount of your current savings against the final amount as the indicator. Other units of measure could be frequency, volume or the extent to which you are satisfied with your efforts on a scale of one to ten. Normally, the more specific the goals, the better you are able to measure them. So, if your goals are hard to translate into words and numbers, go back to making them more specific.

Achievable

Also referred to as attainable, goals should be within your capabilities. They shouldn't go beyond the skills, talents, time and energy you have for it. Goals which are unrealistic for you will only cause you frustration and, possibly, ill-health when you fail to deliver. Moreover, you will also lose your focus and drive to reach that ultimate goal. With that said, you cannot have goals that are too easy to accomplish. There would be no point in them. Therefore, it is crucial to find a goal that lies somewhere between the two. When you do, finding ways to achieve them will come naturally to you. As you keep track your progress, you also gain motivation from witnessing your own positive performance. Wouldn't you be happy to know you've saved $3500 in a year for a car and know you're halfway there?

Relevant

Relevant goals are those that take into consideration others factors in the environment. For example, if the economy is doing poorly, you can't expect to have a 60% increase in revenue. This point is especially important for businesses or people working on projects. Furthermore, by forming cohesive goals that are relevant to your team and organization, you include everyone in your goal. By sharing a vision with others, you will receive a much greater support that will increase your performance as well as others'.

Time-Based

By setting a clear target date for the goal, you are creating in you a sense of urgency that will drive you to achieving it. This is provided that you have enough time to carry out what you have to do. It shouldn't be too soon, which will only serve to make you feel like you're racing against time and cause you unimaginable stress instead. If the duration given is too long, then there will be no sense of urgency. Create a proper time frame for the goal to be accomplished so that you can focus your efforts on completion before it is due.

Specific and Measurable are used commonly while there are several other variations of the remainder of the acronym. Nevertheless, the idea is that these goals will also be something you can achieve within a reasonable time period.

Do you have any questions? Please ask.