Last Saturday, I had the privilege of conducting part of a leadership course at church and one of the things mentioned was the importance of having SMART goals in a personal and team setting.
SMART goals are goals which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
To go into the details…
Specific: The goals are clear and well defined. Losing weight? How many kilo’s are we talking about?
Measurable: How many, how much or how little of something are you going to achieve? How often are you going to work out? Once, twice or thrice a week? And how long is each session?
Attainable: Pursuing the goal should stretch but not kill/overwhelm you. Do you have the necessary skills and resources to make it happen? Have you gotten your track shoes or your gym membership ready?
Realistic: Do you have the willingness and ability to make it happen? You might be willing to work out 12 hours a day, but can your body keep up? How about your day job, your family, friends and other commitments?
Timely: What’s the timeframe and milestones involved? By when would you want to lose 5 kg? In 2 week’s time? Or in a month’s time?
When I walked away from that session, it dawned upon me that as a person who loves to try new things and challenge myself, I do make a multitude of plans to get things done.
But in all honesty, because some of those goals were “dumb” (not very SMART), they got forgotten or pushed aside by life’s other priorities and commitments.
However, it’s also true that not all goals have to be SMART.
Take trivial ones like simple errands, for example.
I don’t really need to sit down to come up with an elaborate plan on how to strategise my approach to procuring certain goods and products from my favourite supermarket, right?
Usually, a short list of the items on a post-it pad will suffice.
On the other hand, goals which have a more profound and significant impact on our lives (like career planning, upskilling, shopping for a car or house or choosing which university or course to study, etc) could definitely use some SMARTness to ensure that they are achieved.
And it’s also true that the SMARTer a goal is and the more accountable you are to others in your pursuit of it, the more likely you are going to actualise it.
Are your important goals SMART? If not, what’s your plan on making them SMARTer?