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Smart Goal Setting

By: Ken Austin

Don’t get intimidated. Smart means nothing but a logical way of arranging things in a particular order so as to make them easier to follow. The proof of smart goal setting being simple and uncomplicated can be glimpsed from its name: smart.

The first letter of smart can be attributed with being SPECIFIC. In goal setting and general planning, specific can spell a difference between a lousy goal against a well thought one.

In actual planning or goal setting, the people involved, the places concerned, financial needs, reasons, objectives, and all other stuff needed in any planning should be specific. If, for example, a person is entrusted to carry out a particular job for the whole company, that person should be named, not only the department she or he represents.

The letter M in smart goal setting can mean MEASURABLE. If you’re specific with your objectives, it follows then that you need to be concrete.

The concreteness of your goal will be measured by how measurable it will become in terms of assessing the overall progress of your goal. Quantifiable is the word used by many expert.

From this, it is easy to remember that what we are talking about is something that has quantity, or something that can be counted on. “Twenty thousand dollars will be needed for the printing of this company annual report” is more helpful than just saying “several thousand will be needed”. 

The third aspect of a smart goal setting has something to do with dreams. If your plan is complicated, you might get overwhelmed and the goal will be become a dream.

Dreaming, per se, is not bad; great inventions and ideas are usually propelled by a dream.  But when it comes to smart planning, you will need attainable goals to realize your dream. If you’ll notice, ATTAINABLE is closely related with being specific and measurable. Any goal that is not measurable and specific can never be attained.

How would you know that your goals are attainable? Easy. If the financial component of your project, plan, or goal, is larger than the source of your finance, then there is problem.

Or perhaps the load of the work resulted in company planning you have just attended is too much with the present manpower in your company, then the goal you have set is not smart because it’s not attainable. 

Perhaps the problem lies not in the lack of money or manpower. Perhaps the problem lies in the time constraint. You’re planning to organize a blessing for your house in a three months time, and yet six months at the very least, will be needed to finish your new home.

REALISM is the fourth letter of smart planning. To be realistic is to be honest with yourself, particularly in your ability to carry out the project, or some other goal.

Remember that any planning or goal setting entails much work, particularly on the part of execution. But remember to balance caution with boldness. If the goal or plan is way below to your capacity, your tendency is to be lax, and this will not develop your productivity.

The essence of planning and goal setting is to improve or elevate your performance. There’s no way that the elements in your plan will not help you improve for the better. 

The fifth letter in smart goal setting stands for TANGIBLE. Tangibles are things that can be subjected to our five senses, your five senses. Tangible actually is closely related with being concrete. And your plan is concrete because it is measurable, specific, and thus, attainable.

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