NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS line my Facebook news feed today. Many want to lose weight and get fit, others want to make new friends and some would like to fill in their tax return on time. Most people have a sense of ‘new year, new beginning’ but at the end of each year few have made any significant changes to their lives or businesses. Some, however, jump ahead in leaps and bounds. What is it that causes these elect few to get ahead while the majority stay in the same place year in, year out? The difference is that some people are SMART. It has nothing to do with IQ but it has everything to do with setting SMART goals as opposed to New Year’s resolutions. SMART goals give you every details of what you want to achieve and how you will get there whereas New Year’s resolutions only express a hopeful maybe. This year don’t waste your time with New Year’s resolutions – invest your time in setting SMART goals. Or, if you still like to call them New Year’s resolutions then keep the phrase but add SMART goals to your resolutions.
SMART goals are:
What exactly is expected, why is it important, who’s involved, where is it going to happen and which attributes are important.
A specific goal will usually answer the five “W” questions:
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Who: Who is involved?
Where: Identify a location.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
What concrete criteria can be used for measuring progress?
A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
How will I know when it is accomplished?
Goals are realistic and can be achieved in a specific amount of time and are reasonable. An attainable goal answers the question: How can the goal be accomplished?
Relevant: The goals are aligned with current tasks, projects and people.
A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match our other efforts/needs?
Are you the right person?
Goals have a clearly defined time-frame. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency.
A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
What can I do six months from now?
What can I do six weeks from now?
What can I do today?