We all know of successful organizations and often wonder how they do it.
It may be a competitor, vendor you do business with, or the health care facility down the street.
The success of these organizations can be attributed to one thing. They know where they headed and have a detailed plan for how to get there.
As they say, the devil is in the details. This is why it is so important to develop goals that help the organization achieve its objectives.
The key to accomplishing any goal, whether personal or professional, is to write it down and keep a focus on it.
This is important for a couple of reasons.
First, there is something psychological about putting pen to paper. It validates your commitment to seeing the end result.
Secondly, it is a reminder of what you committed to and tests your determination to see the goal accomplished.
It is always easier to think and say you are going to do something but often much more difficult to see it to the finish line.
It is important to think through the detail of your goals to ensure you are able to accomplish them. That
is where the SMART Goals model of planning can be really helpful.
SMART Goals are a great way to help you identify and target goal attainment.
5 Questions To Ask When Writing Goals
1. Specific – Is the goal specific enough for clarity?
2. Measurable – Is there a way to measure the goal? In other words, how do you know you achieved the goal?
3. Attainable – Is the goal truly attainable? Or is it such an outlandish goal that it looks good on paper but is nearly impossible to complete.
4. Realistic – Did you write the goal realistically? For example, did you address all the challenges of completing the goal and provide the necessary resources?
5. Timely – Is there a timeline associated with the goal to ensure a completion date and is it the best time to be tackling this goal?
Example of SMART Goals
As an example, let’s say if you had a goal to lose weight.
To accomplish this, you would need to have a target of how much weight you want to lose, and in what time-frame, correct?
Let’s look at this example:
Goal: I will lose 15 pounds starting January 2nd by cutting out desserts and snacks and by controlling my portion sizes.
I will accomplish this in three months.
Ok, let’s look at this goal one point at a time:
Is it Specific?
Yes – losing 15 pounds is very specific.
If you had said that you just want to lose “some weight” starting January 2nd it would not be specific enough to target.
Is it Measurable?
Yes – whether or not you lose the 15 pounds in the three months period is the measure. Either you did or didn’t.
Is it Attainable?
Yes – by changing your diet and portion sizes it is very attainable.
If you didn’t specify “how” you were going to lose weight it may not be attainable.
The goal is to think through what it will take to get it done.
Is it Realistic?
Yes – if you had a goal to lose 15 pounds in two weeks that would not be realistic.
Understanding the challenges before you embark on completing a goal will help you to be realistic with your planning.
Is It Timely?
Yes – If the goal to start the diet was to say, the third week in November right before the holidays, it may not be good timing for the diet.
But since it begins in January, it is very timely. But it also has a timeline that is used to hold yourself accountable.
This is an oversimplified example but I think you get the point.
Put some time and thought into what you want to achieve, write it down and test it against SMART Goals model and you will be amazed at how far you get with reaching your objectives!