With the help of the SMART acronym, you can be more meticulous in generating ideas by helping you turn ideas into reality. By the end of this blog, we hope to give you a better understanding of how to incorporate SMART into your end goal.
The acronym SMART stands for:
Think of a goal you wanted to accomplish but couldn’t achieve because it was too unrealistic or complicated. Implementing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound factors into your game plan will give you a more practical approach towards attaining your goal. Let’s go through each step in the process so that you can use SMART factors to achieve your business or personal goals.
It may seem obvious, but keeping your goal specific to what you are working towards is a crucial first step. Having a specific goal will help you outline what you are trying to accomplish and should give you an idea of what you will need to do in order to reach your goal. When coming up with a specific goal, it’s best practice to outline a timeline, have a clear objective, and most importantly, make a goal that is actually achievable given the allotted time frame. Making your goal achievable does not mean that it shouldn’t be a challenging goal, rather that you are working towards something that you are fully confident in and capable of completing.
Having a goal that allows you to measure your progress, given the start and end point, is a great way to track your progress. Two main methods will enable you to measure your SMART goals in an organized manner: establishing clear deadlines and implementing a progress report. Deadlines are an easy and constructive way to measure when specific criteria should be met and should cater to projects that require a specific timeframe. Progress reports are best used in broader projects that aren’t time/date oriented. This will allow you to measure your progress at the beginning or end of a designated period.
That said, it’s comforting to be able to check on your progress, visualize what still needs to be improved, and where you should focus your time. Whether you measure the goal through a period of time or basic checkpoints, ensure that you can always measure your success.
Making an attainable goal is incredibly important while generating a SMART goal. If you make a goal that’s going to be unattainable, it will create more problems than necessary. Generate a goal that is challenging yet achievable. This step is more or less going to vary for each person because success is certainly defined differently by each individual. One person who may think a particular goal would take them a year to achieve might only take another person six months. It’s all perspective based, but never doubt your ability and always bet on yourself.
When considering the relevance of what you are trying to achieve, ask yourself if what you are working towards will be relevant to your business or personal life. If you find yourself struggling to align between your SMART goals and your business aspirations, it might be beneficial to rewrite your goal to maintain relevance. For example, suppose John works for a landscaping company and wants to increase his monthly profit and revenue. In that case, a SMART goal that encompasses relevancy could be something like “in one month, knock on 100 houses in a large neighborhood in efforts to gain 15-20 new customers”. Coming up with a relevant goal will keep John on pace to accomplish his overall revenue goal.
Planning when you should complete specific criteria is a great way to keep yourself on pace for any task. Typically, when dealing with larger goals requiring multiple steps to completion, having a mapped-out timeframe of when you will have each step completed is essential for organization and completing things in a timely manner. Make sure that within your SMART goal plan, you have deciphered between using deadlines or progress reports. When planning for a larger goal, it may be helpful to use a combination of both a timeline and a progress report.
Whether you are dreaming big or small, something easy or challenging, implementing the SMART goal acronym into the next goal will allow you to stay on track to accomplish anything you put your mind to.