Thursday, December 8, 2011

Guest Post: Are You A Smartie?

Many of you may have heard of S.M.A.R.T goals, but as we approach the beginning of a new year, I thought it would be good to have a little refresher on the concept.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for:

S - specific
M - measurable
A - achievable
R - realistic
T - timely

SPECIFIC — You goal must be specific. Not only because it has a greater chance of actually being accomplished, but it's much easier to know when you've reached your goal if you know exactly what it is!

So make sure you can answer the 6 "W" questions about your goal:
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • What: What do I want to accomplish? (Be specific!)
  • Where: Where will it take place? (If applicable)
  • When: When will it be finished?
  • Which: What are the key requirements in order to succeed? And what are the significant obstacles?
  • Why: The "why" is the tangible benefits of accomplishing this goal. (Make this personal — we work much harder on things that having meaning to us)
MEASURABLE — Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort toward reaching your goal.

ATTAINABLE — It's fine to "shoot for the moon" as a way of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone (see the Quick Tip below). But you want to make sure that your goal can actually be accomplished. It's fine to make it a bit of a "stretch" though. Even if a goal seems out of reach, as you take each necessary step to attain it, you begin to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach your goal. And those goals will become more and more attainable as you grow to meet their challenge.

REALISTIC — Some people get stuck here because when they are setting a goal that is beyond their reach, they start to feel that it isn't realistic. But most of the time, that is just a limiting belief. A realistic goal is one that you are completely motivated to work and strive for and that you truly believe can be accomplished. In addition, it is a goal that others have actually achieved and therefore you can even model the steps they took to get there. A goal can be both high and realistic at the same time. Not only that, high goals are frequently easier to reach than low ones because you are motivated by something that is truly meaningful to you and gives you significant forward movement.

TIMELY — Any goal you hope to achieve needs to be within a timeframe. "Someday" never comes, and ASAP is too nebulous and impossible to measure. The minute you set a concrete timeframe — "by July 15th" or "by the first day of school" - your unconscious mind is already beginning to work toward that end goal and you have created a sense of urgency that will help you work at the top of your game.

So as you set your goals for the next year — whether personal or business — give them the "SMART" test and make sure they all have high IQs! ;-)

Barb Wade, M.A. specializes in teaching Coaches to create thriving, 6-figure practices in under 20 hours a week! For a FREE "How To Get Clients" BUSINESS BREAKTHROUGH KIT just for Coaches, visit

1 comment:

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