This year is rapidly coming to a close. There are still reams of things to do – and not all of these things are going to happen without some concerted effort. To quote renowned philosopher Elbert Hubbard “many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal”. Failing is not on my list of goals. It seems that my to-do list might just need a little bit more structure to it in order to achieve the successes I’m aiming for.
SMART goal setting brings structure into your goals and objectives, and makes them trackable. Instead of vague resolutions, SMART goal setting creates verifiable trajectories towards a certain objective, with clear milestones and an estimation of the goal’s attainability. Every goal or objective, from intermediary step to overarching objective, can be made S.M.A.R.T. to help you bring your goals that much closer to reality.
Specific: well-defined; clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project.
Measurable: know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is; know when it has been achieved.
Agreed Upon: agreement with all the stakeholders what the goals should be; action-oriented and achievable.
Realistic: reasonable and within the availability of resources, knowledge and time; results-oriented and rewarding.
Time-Based: enough time to achieve the goal; tangible and trackable.
With setting goals or objectives, life can get a little chaotic and uncontrolled. Everything comes down to priorities, and what you would like to accomplish – whether you make a conscious choice or go with subconscious preferences.
I think this makes it a case of picking your battles. If it is that important to you, chart your goals wisely and get going so they can be realized. Just don’t paint yourself into a corner by getting too detailed with your SMART goals. Einstein wisely said “logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Be wise and find the balance that makes goal setting work for you.