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5 Steps to Set Smart Objectives

Something that most of the gurus seem to agree on is that the first step towards success is to have the correct definition of smart objectives. The question then arises: How to accomplish that?

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The word smart is an English word that means, “Intelligent and quick-witted” and reminds us of the five characteristics that a well-planted objective should have. Following the SMART rule helps to establish objectives correctly and allows us to see their fulfillment.

There are endless methods, but the SMART one has gained more credibility and popularity for its results in recent years, according to which the objectives should be:

S

M

A

R

T

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Time-base

What are smart objectives and their characteristics?

S) Specific

M) Measurable

A) Achievable

R) Realistic

T) Time-base

1. The Objectives Should Be Specific

This means for the objectives to be as clearly defined as possible to identify what you wish to achieve. Napoleon Hill said that one of the rules to success is the precise definition of objectives. For example: “I’m going to work out,” is not a specific objective. “I’m going to run daily for 30 minutes from Monday to Friday,” is a specific objective.

2. The Methods Should Also Be Measurable

To be able to know whether you are fulfilling or not fulfilling what you proposed. By measuring an objective, you can compare it to the planning or with the objective itself and make decisions based on deviations and variations on what corrective measures we are going to take. The previous example of running for 30 minutes every day is measurable and therefore well-planted since it’s able to show whether it’s being fulfilled or not.

3. They Should Be Reachable

If your objectives involve several people, you should talk to them and go through with their commitment because collective goals are a challenge to achieve if those involved are not committed to them and the team.

For example, a company that intends to generate $ 75,000 or 5% of total net sales will only achieve that if everyone is involved with the common objective. Otherwise what can happen is that what one person saves, the other spends and that will lead to conflicts. Clear communication is important and ensures that everyone in the team is united towards achieving these goals. Everyone!!!

Related: Discipline and the Secret to Success In Seven Steps

4. They Should Be Realistic

The stated objectives should be within the realm of possibilities. Proposing something that is unattainable is opening the door for disaster. The objective, “I’m going to compete in the next Olympics,” may not be realistic for you, it would not be for me, but maybe the objective of participating in the next race in your city may be within your reach.

5. They Should Be Based in Time

Well-planned smart objectives should be set within a limited time where they can be accomplished. Time base means setting a deadline in which the objective can be finished by. We usually do what is urgent first and leave the less important things for later. If you do not set a deadline, then you can easily fall into laziness and your objective will continue to be postponed forever. An example of time-base can be, “I’m going to speak with my client about the order today,” or, “I’m going to organize my office today.”

These are the five steps for planting intelligent objectives according to the SMART rule. Now you can test how well planned-out your objectives for this year are. Do they follow the SMART rule? If not, then perhaps revise them because they run the risk of not happening.

It’s very common to find companies that define their objective by their goal to succeed, responsibility and deadline. However, it’s rare to have a defined strategy for the objective. It’s more common to set the what, how and who, but not the actual steps to “how are we going to succeed.”

The objectives have to be determined by a Plan of Action. “As long as we don’t have a plan of action, nothing can happen, a good plan has to have SMART goals. Establishing correct objectives provides the support plan necessary to follow-through.” This turns them into small steps that help to follow-through with the objective.

About Juan Ramón (Jay) García

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A specialist in sales of high-performance and career development. Juan is a speaker and trainer who has won the prize in "Excellence higher quotas for sales, management, training and equipment support and impetus to regional growth".

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