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Could FAST goals be smarter than SMART goals?

My first week of my sales career I fully understood my goals. They were not hopes or dreams, but rather hard numbers, activity and expectations. Through the years the goals have gotten larger and more complicated. I had sales goals then and I still have sales goals today.

Before we go too far, I do have a few questions:

  1. Do you make a list at the beginning of the year and call them your annual goals?
  2. Do you know about SMART goals?
  3. How about FAST goals?

Let’s take them one by one.

Goals are not achieved by making a list of dreams, but rather setting a plan or plans of how to accomplish the dreams. One of the big issues about setting up a game plan is how to think it through.

This is where SMART goals come into play. It is wonderful to dream about possibilities, but now achieving them can be very frustrating. SMART goals allow you to test your dreams, and focus your efforts, time and resources. Let me remind you that SMART is an acronym:

Specific – Real vs. Hopes

Measurable – Must be tractable to achieve

Attainable – Possibly to accomplish

Relevant – Makes sense to pursue

Time-Based – Accomplished within a specific time-frame

As you can see SMART goals are a great way to achieve your dreams and establishing a plan, but some people believe that SMART goals limit your dreams. I still believe that SMART goals are a wonderful tool, but you may want to introduce FAST goals to the mix. This brings us to the third question. FAST is also an acronym. (business people love them.)

Frequently discussed – Keeps front of mind

Ambitious – Challenging allow you to outperform

Specific SMART

Transparent – Visible

If you notice, I believe that a FAST goal should be front of mind, challenging, SMART and visible. Keeping your SMART goals front of mind will allow you to keep your dreams alive and growing.

Let’s go into the new year with goals that are:

Frequently discussed

Attainable

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based

Transparent

So let’s go back to our original question. Could FAST goals be smarter than SMART goals? I don’t think so. The both are great tools and merging them allow you to be much more nimble. Therefore avoiding the short comings of SMART goals alone. 

What system do you use to organize and plan your goals?