Benefits of Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Posted on January 3, 2012 | in Goal Setting, Personal, Small Business, Sports | by

S.M.A.R.T. goals (or smart goals) – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based – are beneficial for a multitude of reasons.

  • They aren’t vague: Because of the specificity, you can know right away if you’re on track or if you need to make modifications to your activities to accommodate the goals. Vague goals are ignored goals. Specific goals are monitored goals.
  • Plans are incorporated: A good goal is a planned goal.  A goal with specific details will necessitate planning how you’ll go about in achieving the goal. Maybe a goal has multiple activities that need to be accomplished – to run 1,000 miles you’ll need the right gear (shoes, apparel), a safe place to run (neighborhood, park trails), an action tracker (a table that collects your running activity), other pieces of motivation (a running partner, schedule of daily activities around running), etc.
  • Progress is easy to monitor: Your sales department has sales goals. The manager measures how each sales associate is doing week-to-week, month-to-month, and can figure out who is performing well versus who might need some assistance.
  • Quicker to identify missed targets: With progress being easier to monitor, measurement to target is easier to monitor too. When targets are missed it’s easier to react quickly and make necessary changes. “The rate of concession sales has dropped off after doing well at the beginning of the season – why? Let’s go identify the root causes.”
  • With specific details, it’s easier to visualize what success looks like: “1000 miles in a year? Sounds difficult. 20 miles in a week? Yeah, I can do that!”
  • Large goals seem insurmountable, but breaking down into lots of small goals makes change easier.
  • Take bites out of the elephant instead of eating it all at once: Small, intermediate goals are easier to see and achieve, and as more intermediate goals are accomplished the smaller the distance to the final goal remains to navigate.

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