And why everyone needs to know this
During my MBA I had one professor who has completely obsessed with SMART goals, in every single session he would remind us to set them and highlighted the value of having them. He was one of the best teachers I have hadand trust me, I have been awhile in academic education. The best teachers are the ones who add value further away than the subject they are teaching and he clearly accomplished this.
Although SMART goals are often associated with business I belive that everyone can derive value from them. Whether you are an individual, a business owner or a start up founder you need to know how to make SMART goals. It will help you create structure and significantly increase the chances of reaching your goal by improving organisation and commitment.
It is a simple concept that can be applied to any aspect or objective, whether it is in the personal or business side. I hope these questions will help you gain a better understanding of how to implement them and realise how useful these goals are.
You cannot say “ I want to loose weight” or “ I want to increase sales”. How much weight? How much you want your sales to increase? 10%?50%?
What are your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), is it easy to measure ? to keep track of the progress? If you want to loose weight, are you measuring weight? Body Fat Index? VO2? If you want to learn a new language, are you measuring vocabulary obtained?
I will not never say it enough: use common sense. You cannot run a marathon next week if you have not gone for a jog in a year. You cannot learn a language in 2 weeks. However, you can run a marathon in 1 year, learn a language at B2 level in 3 months. Do you have the resources?
How relevant is this goal in your life, business, relationship? How useful is it? What does it improve? Does this align with your long-term goals, value and lifestyle? You can read about the importance of long-term goals in my article.
By when do you want to reach the first step of your goals? By when should you reach your goal? How many times a week you need to practice, train, check inventory, look for new clients? How are you going to break it down?
If you want to make it simpler: what do you want to achieve, why, how do you plan on achieving it and by when.
Example of a SMART goal
By the 31st of December I will reach a C1 level in Italian. For this, I will have attend 2 Italian classes per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm and I will listen to Italian podcasts daily for 30 minutes and review vocabulary 20 minutes per day. By November 26th I will have a B2 level.
Benefits of setting SMART goals
Setting these will force you to reflect upon your goals more deeply, building commitment. Additionally, breaking the goal down and making time-framed steps will make it seem more attainable, and will increase motivation to reach your goal. It will allow you to feel more in control of your time, improve organisation and satisfaction in your life.