It seems like everywhere I turn lately I’m encountering this little S.M.A.R.T. recommendation.
Health consultants. Business development coaches. It’s been reasserting itself all over in articles and speeches.
But it’s not a new concept. It’s been around for decades.
And normally I’m not a fan of bit sized wisdom packaged in catchy acronyms.
However…sometimes catchy acronyms can serve a purpose.
I’m a big fan of writing (gasp, I know you’re shocked – a blogger who likes to write!). Writing down specific goals for yourself really does help achieve them. Sometimes, writing them down helps crystalize what it is you’re trying to achieve. Sometimes, writing them down makes you more committed. Sometimes, writing them down helps you see the gaps or missing steps. In any event, this is a simple way to outline your next steps whether they focus on leadership, career development, or personal improvement opportunities.
I want to lose 40 pounds in two months or I want to double my salary may be specific goals but they aren’t particularly achievable or realistic. I want to lose weight or increase my salary may be achievable goals but they aren’t specific or measurable.
What are you looking to achieve? Do you want to serve as the project lead at your company? Then, what’s a reasonable time for that to occur? Within 12 months? If so, what do you need to do to achieve that goal between now and then. Be specific. Set intervening milestones. Make sure that, if you really work at it, you could achieve those milestones so you don’t get unnecessarily discouraged.
Write down some S.M.A.R.T. goals and run them by a mentor or friend. Seek input in refining them in order to maximize your opportunity for success. Then calendar time each week to benchmark your success or change your course if the intervening steps aren’t moving you closer to your goal. And don’t forget to share your results with friends to encourage them to act too!
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