SMART Goals - ToolsHero

This article explains the concept of SMART Goals in a practical way. After reading it, you will understand the basics of this powerful effectiveness and time management tool. This article also contains a downloadable and editable SMART Goals template / worksheet.
Skill Booster: SMART Goals video

What are SMART Goals?
Everyone who wants to pursue a goal, knows that is important to provide a good description of this goal. Empty slogans do not bring satisfactory results. Making a concrete analysis in advance will help you to get to the finishing line. A useful method to achieve this is the so-called SMART Goals or simply SMART. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time-bound.

A SMART goal gives direction to what you want to achieve. Setting smart goals and using the smart criteria will give a sense of direction to everyone who wants to achieve the goal and it is highly likely that it can be really completed successfully. A well-formulated goal is easy to understand for everyone. You will find an explanation of each of the letters below.

SMART Goals explained (video)
A vague goal such as ‘our company wants to enhance its turnover ’indicates that the current situation is not satisfactory. Apparently the turnover must be enhanced. However, there is not a real plan to realize this goal. So it is unclear for all the parties involved what they should do.

The SMART goals should therefore be formulated more precisely and specifically so that everyone knows what is expected of them. The specific goal must describe an observable action, behaviour or result. It helps if a quantitative value is linked to a number, amount or percentage.

By answering the so-call Wh- questions in advance, the goal will become more concrete:

What do we wish to accomplish? (yield 20% more turnover than we did last year)
Who are involved? (the marketing department and the office sales and field sales departments)
What resources are involved? (by making a € 50,000 budget available for the coming year)
When is it going to happen? (from 1 January up to and including 31 December 2018)
What parts of the goal are essential? (advertising should be deployed more actively and the field sales department must respond to enquiries in their field)
Why is this goal important? (competition is increasing and in order to survive we need to become a key market player)


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