Personal Development

JS Tip 195: From the Time Management Workshops: Using SMART Goals

We talked about this three years ago; it’s worth another look.

We often use the end of the year to plan. Make resolutions. Identify goals.  

One approach is to set goals that are—

Specific: Identify exactly what you want to accomplish: “I’ve got to get my act together” is woefully too general. “I’m going to get to work on time” is more specific.

Measurable: Use numbers—counts, percentages, and ratios: “I’ll get to work before eight o’clock 98 percent of the time in 2013.”

Attainable: Choose a goal that’s achievable but challenging: Ninety-eight percent of the time? I can do that. It won’t be easy, but I can do that. 

Relevant: Your goals should matter to you. They shouldn’t be imposed from outside unless you agree and support them: This is something I need to do, something I want to do.  

Timely: Set time frames. Start points. End points. Review points: “On April 1st, I’ll review my progress and, if necessary, adjust my goals.”

Some Background: We not crazy about cute acronyms, but knowledgeable people call these SMART goals. The first known reference to SMART goals is a 1981 Management Review article by George Duran: “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.”

Happy New Year, everyone. We appreciate you.