Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you know which way you want to go? Are you SMART about it? If you’re wondering why the word ‘smart’ is capitalized, you’re asking the right question. It is never enough to set goals. They also need to be SMART. But what is the SMART goals definition?
Simply put, the SMART goals definition says any goal you set needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, as well as Time-bound. Let’s break them down and see what they mean precisely.
Goals which are usually defined as being SMART must be specific and not broad or general. The reason is that, if the aim is precise, you will know when you achieve it. Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to present an update for one of your products on the market.
A general and, thusly, bad goal is to say that you want to ‘launch the update.’ It’s far too broad, and you will never have any sense of truly achieving it. Instead, you can say that you are planning on ‘launching the update according to the set specification, within your original scope, and with all the previous bugs fixed.’
You also need to make your goal measurable so that you can quantify it better than you would typically do. Let’s build on the example above and see how we can make it measurable. ‘Launching the update according to the set specification, within your original scope, and with all the previous bugs fixed.’ How do you know if this goal rendered the results you wanted?
You can only find that out if you add what you need to achieve, as such. ‘Increase the user population by 50 percent by launching the update according to the set specification, within your original scope, and with all the previous bugs fixed.’
Is the goal we’ve set above attainable? Maybe not. 50 percent might be a bit of an overstretch as it’s challenging for a business to see its user population grow by half overnight. Therefore, we shall change the percentage with a 20 percent one.
Our SMART goal then becomes the following one. ‘Increase the user population by 20 percent by launching the update according to the set specification, within your original scope, and with all the previous bugs fixed.’
Now it’s time to think whether or not the goal you’ve set and worked on is, in fact, relevant or not. Do you absolutely need to enlarge your customer or user database? Can it be postponed? Do you have the budget for it right now?
When do you think it would be the time for you personally or for your business to achieve this goal in particular? You know it’s at some point in the future. However, you shouldn’t set broad goals time-wise. Think about a clear timeline, such as one or two weeks from now, a month or half a year. Do you have a specific date for launching the update, such as, August 17, 2016? Even better. The SMART goals definition advocates for precise and clear lines for setting your personal goal.
The SMART goal definition is also a technique, which can be learned or mastered if you want. You can use it in your private life, as well as in business, or for a particular organization.
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