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Personal development

Setting SMARTER Goals in 7 Easy Steps

The mnemonics SMART and SMARTER are useful when setting project goals and objectives. They provide a way of ensuring everyone understands them, they are trackable, relevant, there are enough resources to achieve them and a firm deadline is set.

Try these seven steps to help you set SMARTER goals for your projects:

1. Specific: Exactly what is it you want to achieve in your business or personal life? Good goal statements explain: what, why, who, where and when. If your goal statement is vague, you will find it hard to achieve because it will be hard to define success.

2. Measurable: You must be able to track progress and measure the result of your goal. Good goal statements answer the question: how much or how many. How will I know when I achieve my goal?

3. Agreed: Your goal must be relevant to and agreed with all parties; examples include your line manager, employees and customers.

4. Realistic: The goal should be stretching, but realistic and relevant to you and your company. Ensure the actions you need to take to achieve your goal are things you can do and control. Is this goal achievable?

5. Time-Bound: Goals must have a deadline. A good goal statement will answer the question: When will I achieve my goal? Without deadlines, it's easy to put goals off and leave them to die. As well as a deadline, it's a good idea to set some short-term milestones along the way to help you measure progress.

6. Ethical: Goals must sit comfortably within your moral compass. Most people resist acting unethically. Set goals that meet a high ethical standard.

7. Resourced: You will need to commit enough resource to achieve your goal. This may be time, money, information sources or support from friends and colleagues. You may need to make sacrifices to achieve your goal.


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