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SMART Goals – Guidance and Importance of Smart Goals Setting

smart goals
smart goals
  1. What does SMART mean
  2. What are SMART Goals?
  3. SMART Goal Setting
  4. What is used to create SMART Goals?
  5. Advantages
  6. Disadvantages
  7. SMART Objectives?
  8. Examples of SMART goals for students
  9. Examples of SMART goals for Managers
  10. Conclusion 

What does SMART mean?

  • Specific Smart Goals
  • Measurable Smart Goals
  • Achievable Smart Goals
  • Relevant Smart Goals
  • Time-based Smart Goals

What is a SMART Goals?

Smart goals can be defined as a mnemonic goal setting system, commonly used to measure growth and performance of a company as a whole, its sales figures and of their employees on a regular basis.

  • The goal your set should Specific
  • Make your goals Measurable
  • Make sure the goal you set are Achievable
  • Your goal should be Relevant
  • Goals should always be Time-Bound

S = Specific 

Smart goals

Being as specific as possible will give you clarity on what you wish to achieve. Narrowing down your goal is essential to understanding how it can be achieved. For example: Instead of saying that you want to become a leader, say, I want to earn a manager position at an ed-tech startup. 

M = Measurable

Smart goals

For us to achieve a goal, we need to be able to measure it. What proof do we have that we are making progress towards the goal? In the previous step, we have set a specific goal. How can we measure if we are moving closer towards it or not? It is important to measurable goals as it will help you revaluate and change your course of action if required.

Give yourself credit where it’s due, and appreciate your efforts when you make progress towards the goal. An example of a measurable goal in terms of the previous point would be: “I will apply to four open positions for a managerial position at an ed-tech startup.”

A = Achievable 

Smart goals

Before actually working towards the goal, we must evaluate it to understand if it is achievable. Can the goal be accomplished within a particular period? If we look at the same example as above, we need to have the qualifications to apply for the position.

Do you have the required skills, knowledge, and work experience required to accomplish the goal? Can the skills required be learned over time? Are there any steps to be taken to be better prepared? Ask yourself these questions, and set a goal that is achievable. For example: “I will update my resume with the relevant qualifications to apply to four open managerial positions at an ed-tech startup.”

R = Relevant 

Smart goals

All of us have certain long-term goals or plans. We follow a set of core values. In this stage, we must assess whether our goals are relevant to our future plans and align with our values. If personal or career goals do not align with your long-term goals, you can consider rethinking your plans.

Ask yourself some questions, understand why the goal is important to you, and how it will contribute to your overall growth to help you achieve your long-term goals. Following the same example, we can say that: “To achieve my goal of becoming a manager, I will upskill to learn the required skills and update my resume with the relevant qualifications to apply to four open managerial positions at an ed-tech start-up.”

T = Time-based

Smart goals

As the name suggests, think of a time frame within which you would want to achieve your goal. Ensure that this time period is realistic. Let’s say you want to earn a promotion, give yourself a fixed period such as six months. For example: “To achieve my goal of becoming a manager, I will upskill to learn the required skills and update my resume with the relevant qualifications to apply to four open managerial positions at an ed-tech start-up within this week.”

Importance of SMART Goals

Smart goals setting or Goal setting provides us a sense of direction. They help us focus and promote a sense of personal satisfaction. By setting goals, we can create a roadmap showing us how to achieve the target. It helps create a plan based on how and where we need to focus our time to achieve the set goals and track progress made. While building our careers, we may want to get a certain promotion or reach a particular milestone. Setting goals will help us do so. 

To help you set career goals and objectives for yourself, you can use a framework known as SMART goals. 

Machine learning is used to create SMART goals. These goals are typically used to help enhance personal development, career growth, project management, and employee performance management. This framework was developed by Arthur Miller, George Doran, and James Cunningham in 1981, and it is still relevant today. Every element helps us create goals that are carefully planned, trackable, and concise. 

Advantages of SMART Goals

  1. SMART goals are not vague
  2. Their odds of being achieved are increased because they are specific
  3. They allow us to track our progress
  4. SMART goals provide us a timeline in which we can adjust and revisit our goals 
  5. They are realistic 

Disadvantages of SMART Goals

  1. There are small chances that individuals may get obsessive about their plans
  2. Increase cravings for more achievements, and thus, you may enter a vicious cycle of wanting more
  3. Making SMART goals may be overly ambitious for some people 

What are SMART Objectives?

We have seen what SMART goals mean. But why should we use them? These goals help us set boundaries and also indicate the progress we’ve made. It helps us achieve goals more effectively as well as with efficiency. Let us take a look at a few examples of SMART goals.

Examples of SMART goals for Students

Example 1

“I will get a job as a college History teacher within four months of graduating with my Bachelor in Education.” 

  • Specific: The goal is to become a history teacher in college is well-defined
  • Measurable: Possible to measure success based on the number of interviews/job offers
  • Achievable: The person who has set up this goal has the appropriate educational qualifications for the same
  • Relevant: After getting a degree in education, the individual wishes to work in the field of education
  • Time-based: The individual has given themselves four months of time to complete their goal 

Examples of SMART goals for Managers

Example 2 

“I will get promoted to a senior marketing manager role by completing the required training in the net five months and by applying for the role at the end of the quarter” 

  • Specific: The individual has set their goal to be promoted to a senior marketing manager 
  • Measurable: Possible to measure success based on whether the training module is completed and whether the individual applies for the role
  • Achievable: The person who has set up this goal has the appropriate training qualifications for the same
  • Relevant: The individual plans to apply for the promotion post completion of the training module, which shows that they are interested in the field and wish to work long-term
  • Time-based: The individual has given themselves time till the end of the quarter to complete their training and apply

Also read – Tips to guarantee Career progression

Conclusion

To move forward in our career or achieve personal developments, having a plan of action is advisable. Setting a SMART goal will help you move forward in an organized manner and provide the required structure. To learn more about the different career paths you can enter, check out Great Learning Academy, and see the different career progressions in various fields. 

1 Source: GreatLearning Blog

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