SMART Goals

Happy
2017!  A new year brings an opportunity
to reflect on goals from the past year, and to set goals for the next one. Though
I certainly love the rest and relaxation that come with the holiday season, I
eagerly anticipate the busyness and excitement of the first month of a new
year!
Each
year, I challenge my team to develop three to five individual goals. In our
year-end reviews, we reflect on those goals and create strategies for achieving
them. Unfortunately, these well-planned, carefully considered goals are often
discussed, written down, and then forgotten over the course of the year.
I
want 2017 to be different! Setting and achieving personal and professional
goals can fundamentally change your journey toward success. But if you do not
regularly put them in front of you and if you do not create accountability for
achieving them, then you are unlikely to accomplish them. What separates good
from great is the ability to grow through setting goals. I don’t want to settle
for good. I want great.
Gail Hay, an HR consultant,
introduced me to SMART goals.  SMART is
an acronym:
Specific (simple, sensible,
significant).
Measurable (meaningful,
motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic
and resourced, results-based).
Time bound (time-based, time
limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
I
asked each team member to develop three to five SMART goals. Initially, the
challenge was a struggle. The goals were general statements, such as, “I want
to be a better manager.” They lacked being specific, measurable, and
time-bound. But with more effort, those general statements could become more
appropriate: “I want to be a better manager, so I will find a manager mentor
by January 31
. Not only that, but I will set up one-on-one meetings with
my direct reports each month
. The result will be better retention and
increased sales
.” The difference between the generic statement and the
SMART goal is clear.
Establishing
the goals is not enough; we then needed to create accountability. I asked every
team member to display their goals on our conference room walls. We meet there
at least weekly, so these posted goals serve as a constant reminder of our
commitments.
This
year, I encourage you to take general statements and turn them into SMART
goals.  Don’t be afraid to be bold with
your goals, either. It is OK to set goals that have never been accomplished
before.  As long as they are SMART goals,
you will have a strategy for success.  Also,
ensure that you have a combination of short-term and long-term goals.  Quick, fairly easy conquering of goals will
build momentum to push you toward accomplishing the bigger ones. Finally, be
sure that you track your goals. This will help you not only to accomplish goals
that still remain, but to celebrate the victories of goals achieved.

May
2017 be the year you achieve big things! Let us know how we can help you!

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