The Essential Guide to develop S.M.A.R.T. Goals

A life without any objective or ambition is a zero or a circle. One can keep on moving in vicious circles without any direction, but to move in the right direction, one should have a set of parameters or goals which can define whether he/she is on the right path in his/her journey called ‘Life.’



These parameters or goals are Smart goals. What are these smart goals for if they cannot help one define their life and career? All great leaders, whether it be Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, to name a few, had a vision or a goal to define their actions. Their lives have always been highlighted as examples of smart goals for others to mirror.


Any person, whether big or small, must have a set of smart goals to achieve his/her intended target, to succeed in one’s career. These goals define the path to success, whether it is to get a job or promotion or to do our daily chores. A person must have a set of smart goals to achieve success in life. It is where the mnemonic ’‘SMART' comes handy in assisting us in our goal-setting efforts. SMART goals are written after cross-questioning oneself and the members of the team responsible for the project on various aspects, including the 5P’s of marketing, i.e., Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People inter-relating each with every alphabet of the acronym SMART. Answers to the questions would help deduce the approach to be followed for writing the goals.

For example, let’s take the sales of exercise books and notebooks. When we cover 5P’s of marketing in the market segments to be covered, it includes direct customers, dealer and retailer network or individual stores, and shopkeepers in the geographic boundaries targeted for sales. The pricing of the product in comparison to other market players, the best advertising platform which can help promote and connect to the largest audience in keeping with the economics of the advertisement, including the cost of sales and manufacturing of the product. All this information would go along in helping to write SMART goals for the sales of notebooks project.


What are SMART Goals?


Goals are a part of everyone’s life that provides them a path and motivation to achieve them. Everyone has set some targets for themselves.


Goals are a part of everyone’s life that provides them a path and motivation to achieve them. Everyone has set some targets for themselves.


A SMART goal is a guide that helps in setting goals. Now let us try to understand what SMART goals acronym ’‘SMART' stands for. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable or Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Each term of the acronym conveys a particular message as discussed below in detail:

Specific: It implies that one should be precise in his/her approach when setting a goal and should be clear about his objectives. ’‘Specific' in no way means detailing into how we must set about achieving our goals, but it is a mission statement of what is intended. The answer to the 5W and H set of interrogative words can help in reaching the ’‘Specifics' of our aim. It is an interesting approach.

The first of the ’‘W' stands for “WHAT.” Then it gets into details of what are we intending to achieve? In our answer to this question, we should not shy away from the minutest of detail, which strikes our mind. It helps us think like an investigator.

The second ’‘W' stands for “Where.” It helps to identify any location that may be any place, unit, i.e., industry, department, etc. It helps us to pinpoint and locate.
The third ’‘W' stands for “When.” It involves timing and helps to set a time-frame to achieve our goals.
The fourth ’‘W' stands for “Why.” It helps to look for reasons and causes required to meet our goals.
The fifth ’‘W' stands for “Whom.” It helps us to define the people or personnel involved in the pursuit of our goals.
The last interrogative, ’‘H' stands for “How.” It helps us define or describe the processes, steps, and procedures as to how things happen, work, or behave.



Measurable

It helps to decide the criteria required for measuring the progress to attain the set goal. In turn, it helps in making a goal tangible as it determines a method to measure the progress made in reaching the target set by us.

Achievable or Attainable

It helps us to find out ways and means by which we can reach our goals and helps us to develop the attitude, ability, and skills to make our goals come true. You must deeply examine any previously overlooked opportunity with a hawk’s eye, which can help us in achieving our goals. In the long run, an achievable goal helps us to be motivated, encouraged, and keeps us inspired to move forward.

Relevant

It enables us to check whether the goal is reasonable and result-oriented and whether in the long run, it makes us feel rewarded. A relevant goal adds more depth and value keeping us motivated in its pursuit. For example, If you are launching a product, and if you are not approaching the right market, say the consumer market and are trying to find an outlet in the industrial market, your approach becomes irrelevant. The reason is that you are not targeting the correct market resulting in all efforts, time, and money going to the dogs. Relevance, therefore, implies the pursuit of the right goal at the right time, right place, and so forth.

Time-bound

Setting a goal with a targeted date is extremely important. An open-ended goal loses its significance. This important aspect of maintaining a deadline is crucial and should be at the center of all planning activities. It creates a sense of urgency and also helps gauge the relevance of the achievement. All companies maintain time-bound targets, whether it is in sales, production, or project management. A time-bound activity saves a lot in terms of finances and enhances growth. It is essential to define time targeted growth, or else the market is so competitive today that it may lead to the slow death of an organization.





What is a SMART Goal Setting?



Setting up the SMART Goals in a structured and organized way that can help us achieve our desired goal is known as SMART Goal Setting. This kind of structure also helps us to estimate where we stand in the real world and what is our current success rate. It helps us to set a clear picture of our priorities.



Importance of SMART Goal Setting

SMART goals help you achieve success by making the goal specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. The SMART method helps push your limits, gives you a direction, and helps you to reach your goals on time. It enables us to have a proper aim in life. To achieve their goals, a person must be self-disciplined.

Without discipline, one cannot reach any goal. It motivates you to move forward by reminding you about your priorities in life. It helps to become more adaptable to situations under pressure. After achieving the desired goal, it gives us a sense of satisfaction and motivates us to set up new goals and grow in life. It helps each individual to be more happy and satisfied in life.



SMART Goals Objectives

Process Objectives

Helps in identifying how the plan can be achieved and in what way the goal can be reached.


Impact Objectives

Helps in identifying what are the long-term effects of the goal and what are the impacts of this plan on others as well.

Outcome Objectives

Helps in identifying the kind of results formed in the process of execution of the plan and how it impacts the audience.

Personal Objectives

It not only helps in external factors but also helps in the personal development and growth of an individual.




Different kind of Goals:

Long term goals

Goals that require long term planning and execution are known as long term goals. They usually take up to 5 years or more to plan and execute. The impact of these goals is very fruitful, which is why an individual is willing to dedicate more time and effort towards it. For Example: Building a casino.


Intermediate-term goals

Goals that require planning and execution between 1-5 years are known as intermediate-term goals. The impact of these goals is also very profitable. .

Short term goals

Goals that require planning and execution in less than a year are known as short term goals. They do not have a long term impact.





SMART Goals Template

Specific

Who is involved in the goal?; What do I want to attain?; Where is the goal to be accomplished?; Why I want to achieve this goal?; When to reach the goal?

Measurable

How do I know I have reached the goal?; What is the progress rate?

Achievable

Do I have resources and capabilities to achieve the goal?


Realistic

Is the goal practical and within reach? ; How to achieve the goal?


Timely

What should be the deadline for my target?




Advantages of SMART Goals




Disdvantages of SMART Goals



In today’s world, time is running out for everyone in anything they do. It becomes all the more imperative to have clarity of ideas, rightly focused efforts and productive utilization of available resources and time. This helps in achieving what we want in life and improves our chances of success. Smart goal templates available nowadays have helped many people, who spent much of their lifetime shifting from one job to another or trying to rush about things to do more. They have helped in achieving a lot more from life and contributed to reducing worries and tensions.