Every year around this time of the year, I reflect on the current year and begin to set my goals for the following year. I review my personal and professional accomplishments. I also ground myself by developing areas of growth.
Over the years I have tried many “Goal attaining systems” and have found that setting S.M.A.R.T. goals have worked best.
Let me define S.M.A.R.T. goals:
S: Specific, Significant, Stretching & Simple
Goals need to be specific. To set a specific goal set a well defined goal. You should be able to clearly identify the goal and answer these questions: Who are the stakeholders? What will you accomplish? Where will you accomplish it? When will you accomplish it? and Why do you want to accomplish this goal? I also like to use the S for $. Will it cost anything or will it save money?
M: Measurable & Manageable
Goals need to be measureable. How will you measure your success? Can you manage the progress towards your objective? Create a support system from trusted friends, colleagues and others in your professional social network to encourage you and help you measure your success.
A: Attainable, Attitude, Appropriate, Achievable, Assignable & Ambitious
Goals need to be attainable. Can you accomplish the list this year? Is the goal achievable? Do you have the resources you need to attain the goal? Develop the right attitude to ensure you achieve your goals. Are you your best advocate? Be ambitious. Don’t settle for average results.
R: Relevant, Results, Results-focused, Results-oriented
Goals need to be relevant and results oriented. Is the goal relevant to your career, business or personal goals? Be honest in the evaluation of yourself.
T: Time-bound, Time framed, Time-Specific, Trackable
Goals need to have a time-frame. Is the goal time-bound? What is the time-frame to complete the goal? Make sure to consider the time it will take you to complete your goal by setting a time-frame and timeline to complete the goal. Be wise and give yourself enough time to complete the goal. Track your deliverables with project management tools. You can create a quick and easy goal tracking spreadsheet with Excel
Let’s work SMART.er and not harder in 2010.
Discussion: Please join me in setting up 2010 SMART goals. I will write a follow-up article next week to share my 2010 goals. What type of tools do you use to set your annual goals? Do you set short-term goals or long term goals?