Want The Key to Setting SMART

by ryan on December 13, 2017


Want The Key to Setting SMART Goals?


It’s all in the details!

Once you’re convinced that setting SMART goals will help you get the results you want the big question is what are the steps involved in creating them?

The answer comes down to one single word: details.

Setting SMART goals begins with having a specific vision of exactly

• What it is you want to achieve
• How you want to achieve it
• Why it is important to you
• By when you think it should be done
• How you will measure your progress and completion

When you have a clear answer for each of the points on this list you are ready to state your goals in this form.

You can get there in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Create a detailed vision of your goal

Begin setting SMART goals by creating a complete mental picture of the result you want including as much detail as possible.

This task sounds easy but take your time with it because it is the most important step in the process. Really think about what it is you‘re aiming for:

• How will you know you’ve gotten the result you want?
• What features will the result contain?

Sometimes this question is easy to answer, such as when you’re aiming to complete a particular project. But it can be harder when your goal is to improve your performance. Again it comes back to details, details, and more details.

As you can see, identifying how you’ll know you’ve achieved your goal is very closely connected to the question of measurement. The better your mental picture of your goal, the better you’re able to specify how to track progress and measure success.

Step 2: Create a rough draft of your goal statement

When you’ve added lots of details your next step is to write a rough draft of your goal based on the mental picture you created. This is your goal setting information statement.

Don’t worry too much about what it says as you do this step. You’ll refine and edit in the next step when you actually write a goal statement. For now concentrate on just getting it down on paper.

Let the task of writing SMART goals be about writing down every detail that you can think of to explain what you’re aiming for. Try to make your words capture as much of your mental picture as possible.

Step 3: Compare & Revise

Review and revision comes next. Compare your goal statement to your vision and to the questions listed above:

• Does it include the details you imagined?
• Does it answer each of the questions clearly with as much detail as possible?

If not, revise. Make a note of what’s missing and then take a second cut at the goal setting information statement.

Fill in what you skipped over too quickly in the first draft. Remember, the task here is not to be perfect. You’re setting SMART goals for yourself and, unless you choose otherwise, no one will read them but you. The task is to be as complete as possible based on what you know so that you find your goal useful.

When you’ve made the changes you identified to your goal statement go back and repeat this step again from beginning to end. Continue this process of revise, compare, revise again until you are comfortable that your goal statement accurately reflects exactly what it is that you want to achieve.

Step 4: Test your completed goal statement against the SMART criteria.

The final step in setting SMART goals is, in essence, a return to the beginning.

Take your completed goal statement and test it against the five SMART criteria. If you find that your goal contains all of the detail called for in a SMART goal then you are good to go.

But don’t worry if you fall a bit short. It takes practice to become skilled at goal setting techniques. And the remedy when you’re not quite there is easy enough.

Go back to the drawing board and repeat the steps for setting SMART goals listed above until you get it right.

This process will become easier with time. Whether it’s a lot of work or a little you will quickly see the benefit of working with SMART goals.


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