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How to set a SMART Goal

This time of year, we all set goals for the coming year, or at least we think about setting goals. They tell me that it is not a “goal” unless you write it down and I did that for years. I would write down the five to ten things that we wanted to accomplish in the coming year and feel like I had done something. The problem with this process was that I didn’t always keep the list in front of me. Nor did I fully separate goals from wishes.

The results were that I had a vision, but not a plan. A “goal” is how to transfer your wishes into a plan that turns them into reality.

I’d been making a task list rather than setting goals.

Then I discovered SMART goals. What is dumb about that is that the SMART goals process has been around since the early ’80s and I just started using it in the last few years. Sure I knew of it, but never went through the thought process until the last few years and it does make a huge difference.

The Process

The process of writing a SMART goal is really a group of question that you ask yourself:

  • Specific – This step is all about asking the “W” questions to determine the facts. Here are a few examples: Who is this for?, What is the goal?, Why am I doing this?, Where will this take place? or Which group will do the work?
  • Measurable – Ask yourself how will you know when it has been accomplished?
  • Achievable – Ask yourself if this is a realistic goal and is it attainable?
  • Relevant – It is important to know that this goal is the right thing to do and that it matching your other efforts. If it is not worthwhile, then why should set it as a goal?
  • Time Bound – When from this date will the goal be complete?

The Results

Using a simple smart goal worksheet to help me, I wrote my SMART goal statement.

S – I want to launch the UnStuck Business Academy online.

M – By offering five courses covering LinkedIn, Legal requirements for small to mid-market business owners or other professionals, Accounting needs for the same group, Leadership, and basic knowledge of benefits.

A – If the other instructor keeps on the timeline this goal is very attainable.

R – The online courses continues to serve our community of business owners and other professionals.

T – This will be accomplished during the first six months of 2019

Here is the SMART goal statement that I have set for the first half of 2019.

“During the next six months, I will establish the UnStuck Business Academy online by successfully launching five online courses that best serve our community of business owners and other professionals.”

I don’t pretend to be an expert in the SMART goal process, but I do feel that it helps me to think things through.

(click here if you would like to download the SMART Goal Worksheet)