Posted by: G. Lane Cavalier | February 9, 2009

Lagniappe: Are your goals SMART?

As with a lot of post, this was inspired by some of my recent school readings, you can find out more about SMART goals in almost any good Management Textbook.

The concept of a SMART goal is to define the parameters of the goal you are trying to make. It helps me to lay out each component of the acronym and write them down.

SMART stands for Specific, Meaningful, Actionable, Reachable and Time-framed. It is the basic five absolute components for a goal to be achievable. My target for a good SMART goal is a success rate of between 70% to 90%. Lower than that and it might not be deemed reachable and you will get frustrated, higher than that and you may not be focused enough to make it happen.

Specific – The goal needs to be specific, if you cannot actually know you have reached your goal, or even if you’re uncertain, then the goal is harder to obtain. ie: I am working towards finishing my last 5 classes and getting my degree by the end of this semester in May.

Meaningful – If the goal doesn’t have meaning for you, you will not work towards it. I think getting my degree has meaning on multiple fronts, including helping in my career and showing my children how important I do take the degree.

Actionable – You need to be able to take specific actions, in a sequential or non-sequential manner that will achieve the goal. I registered and am completing the necessary course work.

Reachable – The goal must have a realistic component to it. If I had 30 semester hours left instead of 15, I could not have realistically set my goal to graduate by May while meeting my other life commitments

Time-Framed – If a goal-doesn’t have a time frame, it will be to easy to put off the actionable items needed to reach it. One example of this is my “BOOK” project, I write when I feel like it. I have been working on it for several years and have not made significant progress, so I think until I put a date on when I will finish it by, I may never finish it.

So remember, define a few goals for yourself and make them SMART.


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