Goal setting is the most important thing you can do to achieve goals. If you don’t define your goals, how are you going to achieve them? They give you direction. Goals help you be more productive and efficient. They motivate you to achieve more. Goals help you persevere through challenges. They help you measure performance.  The most popular method is SMART goal setting attributed to Peter Drucker. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Here’s how it’s done.


Goals should be specific, targeting specific areas for improvement. Other criteria are significance, stretching, simplistic and sustainablility. This helps clarify goals and define what’s expected. Specific goals answer the five ‘W” questions; What do I want to accomplish? Why do I want to accomplish it? Who is involved? Where will it be done? Which requirements and constraints exist?


Goals should be measurable; what is the quantity to measure progress? Other criteria are motivational, manageable and meaningful. Measuring progress helps keep you on track, reach target dates and enjoy achievement. Measurable goals answer the following questions; How much? How many? How will I know when it’s accomplished? Indicators should be quantifiable.


Goals should be achievable; they are attainable. Other criteria are appropriate, agreed, assignable, actionable, action-oriented, adjustable, ambitious, aligned with corporate goals, aspirational, acceptable and aggressive. Achievable goals should be realistic. They should make you stretch. Goals are neither out of reach or below standard performance. They help you figure out ways to achieve them. Goals help develop attitudes, abilities, skills, knowledge, processes, procedures, infrastructure, staffing and finances. They develop opportunities. Achievable goals answer the following questions; How can the goal be accomplished? How realistic is the goal based on constraints?


Goals should be relevant, important to you, your company and others and also matter. Other criteria are results-based, results-oriented, resourced, resonant and reasonable. Relevant goals help enlist the needed resources from all. They help drive all involved forward. Relevant goals should be in line with all other goals. They answer the following questions; Is this worthwhile? Is this the right time? Does this match our other efforts or needs? Does it involve the right people? Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?


Goals should be time-based, they’re grounded within a specific timeframe defining specific target dates. Commitment to deadlines help focus efforts to complete goals on or before due dates. Goals help minimize distractions that detract from achieving them. They create urgency. Time-based goals answer the following questions; When? What can I accomplish a year from now? What can I accomplish a six months from now? What can I accomplish a month from now? What can I accomplish a week from now? What can I accomplish today?


Now you know why you should set goals and how to set them. Are you doing that? Why not? If you’re going to achieve your goals, you need to set them, set them in the best manner possible and measure their progress. If you do that, you’ll achieve your goals. Good luck. Let me know if I can help you achieve your goals.


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