To succeed in any venture, whether business or personal, one must start with a goal. Goals are desired results that chart the course of action. However, it is necessary to set effective goals that can be achieved, hence the SMART acronym for goal setting.
SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (Conzemius & O’Nell, 2011). When setting a goal, it is important to be specific about what needs to be done, when it should be done and why. Specific goals cover all the bases, such that they are easier to implement.
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The second part of acronym is measurable. An effective goal has an aspect of evaluating the goal’s progress. For instance, when setting up a new business, it is important to come up with various milestones that will be used to measure the goal. The measurable concept breaks down the goal into specific tasks that are easy to accomplish.
The third concept is achievable. Goals should be achievable, otherwise they are just dreams. Achievable goals are motivating, unlike outrageous goals which are discouraging. For example, in starting a new business, a student should settle on a simple business idea that can be easily implemented such as baking cookies. Achievable goals are determined by one’s skills and resources.
Alternatively, relevance aspect of SMART acronym focuses on whether the goal makes sense or not. Goals are made to support the bigger picture, and they must be aligned with other business objectives. Once again, in establishing a baking business, a student can make a goal to learn how to bake cookies in the next 2weeks- this goal is relevant to the business idea.
Lastly, the concept of time-bound separates goals from any other idea. Goals have realistic timing of implementation based on what needs to be done. A goal is usually broken down into smaller tasks (deliverables) in defining the deadline for the achievement of the goal.
To sum up, misguided goals are wasteful, they lack a sense of direction and eventually lead to failure. SMART acronym for goal setting is a simple yet relevant strategy for creating effective goals.
Conzemius, A., & O'Neill, J. (2011). The power of SMART goals: Using goals to improve student learning . Solution Tree Press.