Excellent and well thought out goals are a powerful tool for managing your project to success. The SMART model is a tool that helps you optimize your goals based on five essential criteria. With the SMART model, you ensure that you both set goals that move something and set goals that you can reach. In this article, we go into depth with the SMART model as a tool for setting practical goals. And you can use them, whether you set goals with your employees or if you set more personal goals.
What is the SMART model?
The SMART model is five requirements you must set for your goal. There are five questions your goal should be able to answer.
The five requirements of the SMART model are:
- Specific – what exactly is it you want to achieve?
- Measurable – when are your goals?
- Attractive – why you bother fighting to reach this goal?
- Realistic – you actually have the resources needed to achieve the goal?
- Timed – when is your deadline?
Below we go into the individual requirements of the SMART model.
Your goal should be Specific
– what exactly are you going to achieve?
So be precise about what you want to achieve. Try to see the difference between these two goals:
- I want to be the best chef in the world
- I will be a chef at a three-star Michelin restaurant before entering 2017
The first goal is not very specific. For what it really means to be the best. After all, it is an individual. You may want to be the best chef at Tambohuse Inn for just the guests you are cooking for. Or it may be that your definition of the world’s best chef is closely tied to the Michelin Guide’s recommendations. The difference between the two goals is that you can actually say, now, I have achieved one I wanted with this goal for number two. You can’t quite do that with goal number one. For what it means to be the best.
Your goal should be Measurable
– when are you on target?
You should be able to answer when you are on target. And you should be able to explain it in your sleep. Because if you do not know exactly, then it is easy to let the deadline go, relax the demands and maybe give up halfway. You simply need to know exactly what criteria must be met before you reach your goal and can let the champagne pops.
And you also need to set measurable criteria, even if it may be about softer things like personal development.
Your goal should be Attractive
– why are you struggling to reach this goal?
What makes you want to excite through the fire, water, and the dangers of the world to reach this goal? If that’s because your director says you should, then you may well expect that motivation is not at the top. And at least it’s not as much at the top as if you find the motivation inside yourself. You have to fight to achieve your goal day and night, Early and late, if that’s what it takes.
Many do not reach their goals because they strive for others.
Your goal must be Realistic
– do you have the resources to achieve your goal?
You can have a lot on the list of things that you would like to achieve. But the reality is wise. So don’t get overly ambitious and try to cheat on the facts. If you are overly optimistic about time, then you risk losing your breath altogether when you begin to fall behind seriously.
Your goal should be Timed
– what’s your deadline?
Deadline is both something we fear and something we look forward to if you set a good goal. Maybe even good sub-goals. Then the deadline will also be something that you look forward to. Because you are highly motivated for all the attractive things that lead to you reaching your goal. Then set a specific deadline from the start if you do not know what day and when of the day you should be on target, then there is no reason to start. Then you can always put it off.
Why set goals?
A goal that you are motivated to achieve helps you to:
- Focus your energy on tasks that make sense to you.
- Strengthen your motivation.
And then it helps you much better to actually reach the goal.
We all have dreams. Things we would like to achieve. Many people go around hoping that one day they will fulfill their wishes. The objective is such a little square said to be a way of planning yourself for your requests to be fulfilled. When you use a tool like the SMART model when setting your goals, you increase the chances that your goal will actually come true.
Why target the SMART model?
Many people are good at setting goals. The problem is that they set unrealistic, unmotivated, or unreflected goals. So such a purpose here:
I want to be a successful leader!
If you are a leader, then there is a chance that you will nod to that goal. The problem is, it’s a little hard to say when you’ve reached that goal. What does it mean to be a successful leader?
The SMART model helps you to define and motivate your goal so that you actually set goals that you feel like jumping out of bed for the pursuit – even the days when it rains a lot. The SMART model helps you set goals that you actually know when you have reached.
An example could be:
I would like to raise employee satisfaction by three percentage points for next year’s employee satisfaction survey.
Both goals can mean that you are a successful leader. The last goal is just a lot easier to make a strategy and action plan for.
When your goal meets the five requirements of the SMART model, you have a strong starting point to achieve even better results as a leader.
Here’s how to find the goal behind your goal
The intention behind the goal? It may sound cryptic. It’s about finding the underlying goals behind your immediate goals because it strengthens your motivation and, thus, your ability to set sharp goals and achieve them. It is merely about what you really want to achieve.
There is rarely just one reason why you are not reaching your goals. In this section, we come close to the fact that the goals we often set ourselves are not really what we want most and are most hamstring motivated.
Working with the SMART model to your goals is a great help, but it is vital that you are critical of what you say yourself along the way. And why you say that?
Ask Critical Questions for Your Objective
When you need to find the underlying goals, you need the critical senses to work. Your underlying motivation can often be almost invisible to you at first.
We humans are really good at imagining things ourselves. And when we set a goal, we always think we know exactly what we want. But we often don’t. You can be guided by other people’s beliefs, your own prejudices, and basic patterns in society. And if you fail to reach the underlying goals, you risk losing motivation and chasing goals you never achieve because it doesn’t matter to you.
You simply don’t do anything about it.
Let’s take an example:
Your goal may be that you would like to raise employee satisfaction in your department by five percentage points over the next year. But why do you really want it? Maybe for your employees. Maybe. Chances are something is more important that you want to feel better about yourself as a leader.
So what exactly are some challenges you face when you fail to reach your goals? Where is it that you find the motivation to reach your goals tirelessly?
It sounds easy, but once you start working on the SMART model and underlying goals, a beautiful new world of goals often opens up. But it is, on the other hand, also where you get a significant effect.
This approach to goal setting is widely used in coaching, where it is about digging deeper into your personal motivation. Whatever you want.
So think about it, what is the purpose behind your goals?
The SMART model as part of coaching leadership
Coaches and coaching managers often use the SMART model. If you want to try your hand at it, read a lot more about coaching for managers.
Do you have questions about the SMART model?
Then you are always welcome to leave a comment, send a message, or catch me on facebook. The possibilities are endless, and I wait excitedly.