Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Goal Setting Tips and Tricks: 'SMART' goals -- specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, time-based

SMART

An Acronym To Guide Your Goalsetting
For a goal to be meaningful, it helps if it's 'SMART'.

S: Specific.
M: Measureable.
A: Achievable.
R: Realistic.
T: Time-based.

If I state: 'I want to go to the moon in a few days time', this would NOT be a 'SMART' goal. Sure, it's more-or-less 'specific' (but only just), and it's pretty 'measureable', but it doesn't meet the other three criteria. 'A few days' is not a time-based statement. It's hazy.

If I state, 'I want to walk on the moon's surface by the time I turn fifty on February 17 2018,' I'd be stating a 'SMART' goal.

It's VERY 'specific'. I'm stating the actual thing I'll do when I get to the moon.

It's something I can 'measure'... if I WALK on the surface of the moon, I'll know I've achieved my goal. If I do it by the time I turn fifty, stated as a real date, I'll know whether I've achieved it.

Is it 'achievable'? Given the fact that South African businessperson, Mark Shuttleworth, has already walked in space, I'd say that twenty years is a fair time period to expect commercial moon travel to be possible. In that time, can I take steps to GET myself to the moon? Possibly.

'Realistic'? A little bit science-fiction-esque. But essentially realistic.

And I've already illustrated the time-basedness of it. I'm not vague about the time. I'm spelling out what 'by the time I turn fifty' means.

Good luck with your own SMART goals.

This post originally appeared on Roy Blumenthal's How to Unleash Your Creativity: For Profit & Gain and on the Squidoo Lens: Creativity According to Roy Blumenthal.

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