Goals can be powerful motivators for individuals and organizations, if done right. If
done poorly, however, they can have an opposite effect, i.e., lowering motivation and
desire for improvement. To be done right, goals must be SMARTER (Specific,
Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound, Evaluate, and Re-Do).
Specific goals are precise and clear, rather than overly broad or ambiguous. They
answer questions like: who is involved, what do I want to accomplish, where must this
be done, when should it be performed. For example, “Join a health club and workout 3
days per week,” versus, “Get in shape.”
Measurable goals are quantifiable: in other words, you can establish concrete
criteria for measuring your progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. Be
able to answer questions such as: how much, how many, how will I know when it is
Achievable/Attainable goals meet the common sense test that they require
a change in current practices or behavior to be achievable. You figure out ways to
accomplish your goals by developing the attitudes, abilities, skills and financial
capacity to reach them.
Realistic goals represent objectives toward which you are both willing and able to
work. A goal can be both high and realistic, you must decide for yourself. The test for
“realistic” is a careful study of the past to know what is a “stretch” goal and what is
wildly and unreasonably optimistic. You must truly believe that it can be
Time bound goals have an end point that can be found on a calendar.
frames tied to your goals provide a sense of urgency to help motivate you.
Evaluate goals regularly and adjust them as needed to account for changes in
family or job responsibilities or availability of resources.
Re-Do goals after the evaluation process and iteratively go through the SMARTER
Write out your S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals (at least 1 or 2 that...