To be successful in meeting your goals. Make sure they pass the S.M.A.R.T. test.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Timely
Here’s an example of a dumb goal: I want to come in under budget. Great idea, but let’s turn this dumb goal into a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Here’s how….
Be Specific. Instead of saying you want to come in under budget this year…. what about I want to come in 25% under budget. Or I will only use 75% of my budget.
Make it Measurable. Can you measure 75% of budget? You sure can!
Is it Attainable? Is it realistic for you to think you can come in 25% under budget? If you’ve blown your budget more than met it in the past, chances are this is not an attainable goal. But if you’ve come close to or under budget, this is probably an attainable goal.
Be Relevant. Do you have control over the budget? Do you even have a budget? Is budget something your boss worries about? If so, then your goal is probably relevant.
Make it Timely. When do you want to come in 25% under budget? On the next project? By a certain date? In the first, second, third quarter? Over the whole year?
So let’s modify the goal one more time… I want to come in 25% under budget this year. Or I will only use 75% of my budget on the next project.
Setting a goal is great. Setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal is fantastic, but only if you GO BACK and HOLD yourself ACCOUNTABLE to check your work. Set a reminder on your calendar after the deadline and measure your success. Did you actually come in 25% under budget? Good for you!
The more you use S.M.A.R.T. goals the better you will be at setting them.