I believe that setting SMART goals is a key part of seeing results, and I’m so passionate about the subject that I’ve led workshops both at my own company and to the OrgOrg community. Here’s some tips on how you can integrate the SMART acronym into your own goal-setting brainstorming sessions.
First, get yourself some blank (physical or digital) paper. In a quiet space, spend a minute or two focusing on your breath, gently setting thoughts aside if and when they do come to you. After a minute or two, or as you are called to do so, start writing down the things you’d like to accomplish. They can be big (“Solve world hunger”) or small (“Take out the trash”); full sentences (“Buy flowers at the market today”) or umbrella thoughts (“Health”). Spend 10 minutes doing this. (Here’s a timer you can use online!)
When your 10 minutes are up, take a look at what you’ve written. You may have written specific goals, like “decide which ottoman to buy” -- or you may have written general themes, like “home decor.” Both are great! You can suss out potential goals from your theme by asking yourself “How might I [theme]?” For example, if I wrote down “career advancement,” I’d ask myself “How might I advance my career?” and come up with a few goals from there: “Talk with a career coach.” “Take a class on negotiation.” “Learn more about potential career paths in my field.”
Once you’ve written out a number of first-draft goals, choose one to hone into a SMART goal. Spend 5 minutes reviewing your chosen goal against the following considerations:
Is it Specific?
- Does the goal include the answer to the question “What does it take to achieve this goal?”
- Would a third party be able to read your goal and understand exactly when it was achieved?
Here’s an example of making a goal more Specific:
- Before: “I will run more.”
- After: “I will run 3 times a week, for a total of 30 miles, by the end of the month.”
Is it Measurable?
Is it Actionable?
Is it Realistic?
Is it Time-Bound?
Want to learn how to make your goals Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound, too? Join OrgOrg to gain access to our full database of resources and just-for-members events!
OrgOrg Resources Team