Goal setting enables you to have direction and focus. It’s also an efficient way to motivate the entire team and allow everybody to achieve desired results without being overwhelmed by the tasks. Working hard to reach your goals is good, but working smart will let you achieve success.
In 1981, George Doran first coined SMART Goals in an article “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management Goals and Objectives”. From then on, it’s become a method for leaders around the world.
It talked about the concept as a tool to improve the chances of success and improving communication as well as understanding in the team.
The Crucial Benefits of SMART Goals
The idea behind SMART is to make your goals attainable and clear for everyone.
So, you should aim for a goal that’s:
Goals should be clear and specific. Be as detailed as you can.
For example, for a person who wants to lose weight, instead of “to lose weight,” try “lose X kilograms by running and cutting out carbs. “Similarly if you want to buy a house, it shouldn’t be “to get a house,” instead, phrase it like, “to get a 150 square meters, 2-story, 3-bedroom house in Colorado.” This will not only help you visualize your goal more clearly; it will also help you plan and decide easier, from how much you’ll need to what kinds of home mortgage loans you should be looking at.
In marketing, it can be enhancing your business’s online presence through “increasing sign-ups by 30 percent by the end of the year through organic traffic.” The important thing here is clarity.
Get as detailed as possible by answering the basic “W” questions.
- What (What are you trying to achieve.)
- Why (Why do you need to achieve it. What will it do for the brand or business?)
- Where (Where will this happen. What are the methods you’re planning to use? This won’t always apply but if there’s an event or a specific medium that the action will take place on, then put it here.)
- Who (This will talk about who will be involved in the task)
- When (When will it happen. What’s the deadline?)
Goals should be measurable. You should have KPIs and metrics that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your plan or campaign. This way you’ll know if there’s progress or if your strategy is working.
Measurable goals are easier to analyze, which means it’s easier to report what’s happening to the project and how it’s advancing. You or anyone on your team will be more prepared when asked about how the campaign is going.
Goals should be realistic and attainable. An achievable goal will enable you to identify opportunities that may have been overlooked in the past.
Here are some questions to consider when evaluating how achievable your goal is:
- How are you going to achieve the goal?
- Is the goal realistic when you take deadlines and budget into account?
Goals should matter to your business, and they should also align with other goals that are related to your brand. It should be worthwhile, should match the entire needs of the company, and should be accomplished by the right person or team.
For example, you want to start a social media marketing campaign, but is it the correct time to start it? Do you have the right people for it, and if so, how will it impact the overall success of the company?
Every goal needs a deadline. Having a target date gets the team to focus more on the project and will allow them to prioritize tasks.
Here are some criteria of a time-bound goal:
- What can be done in a week?
- What can be done a month from now?
- What are the goals that need to be accomplished and when are they due?
If your goals are time-bound, you can easily set deadlines for every milestone that needs to be accomplished for the project. All members of the team will have a clear idea of what to do and when they need to complete it. Nobody will be surprised that something wasn’t accomplished.
You’ll also be able to adjust resources throughout the project because you’ll know what to prioritize, increasing the chances of the project is completed successfully.
Achieve Goals the SMART Way
Once you’ve defined your goals, it’s now time to plan and strategize. Having specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals will help illuminate everyone in your team about the tasks they need to accomplish and the purpose behind what they’re doing, thus improving performance and results.
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