What is SMART Goal principle?
Goal setting is a helpful way to build the career you want. By setting objectives and creating a clear roadmap for how you’ll reach your intended target, you can decide how to apply your time and resources to make progress. Without goals, it can be difficult to determine how to get a certain job, promotion, or other milestones you want to achieve.
When you set an objective for yourself, you should include each step necessary for success. To help, you can use a framework called SMART goals. Here’s how SMART goals work and a few tips and examples to assist you in your goal-setting efforts.
What are SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Each element of the SMART framework works together to create a goal that is carefully planned, clear and trackable.
You may have set goals in your past that were difficult to achieve because they were too vague, aggressive, or poorly framed. Working toward a poorly crafted goal can feel daunting and unachievable. Creating SMART goals can help solve these problems. Whether you’re setting personal or professional goals, using the SMART goal framework can establish a strong foundation for achieving success.
S = Specific
Be as clear and specific as possible with what you want to achieve. The more narrow your goal, the more you’ll understand the steps necessary to achieve it. Example: “I want to earn a position managing a development team for a startup tech company.”
M = Measurable
What evidence will prove you’re making progress toward your goal? For example, if your goal is to earn a position managing a development team for a startup tech company, you might measure progress by the number of management positions you’ve applied for and the number of interviews you’ve completed. Setting milestones along the way will give you the opportunity to re-evaluate and course-correct as needed. When you achieve your milestones, remember to reward yourself in small but meaningful ways. Example: “I will apply to three open positions for the manager of a development team at a tech startup.”
A = Achievable
Have you set an achievable goal? Setting goals you can reasonably accomplish within a certain timeframe will help keep you motivated and focused. Using the above example of earning a job managing a development team, you should know the credentials, experience, and skills necessary to earn a leadership position. Before you begin working toward a goal, decide whether it’s something you can achieve now or whether there are additional preliminary steps you should take to become better prepared. Example: “I will update my resume with relevant qualifications, so I can apply to three open positions for the manager of a development team at a tech startup.”
R = Relevant
When setting goals for yourself, consider whether or not they are relevant. Each of your goals should align with your values and larger, long-term goals. If a goal doesn’t contribute toward your broader objectives, you might rethink it. Ask yourself why the goal is important to you, how achieving it will help you and how it will contribute toward your long-term goals. Example: “To achieve my goal of being in leadership, I will update my resume with relevant qualifications so I can apply to three open positions for the manager of a development team at a tech startup.”
T = Time-based
What is your goal time frame? An end date can help provide motivation and help you prioritize. For example, if your goal is to earn a promotion to a more senior position, you might give yourself six months. If you haven’t achieved your goal in that timeframe, take time to consider why. Your timeframe might have been unrealistic, you might have run into unexpected roadblocks or your goal might have been unachievable. Example: “To achieve my goal of being in leadership, I will update my resume with relevant qualifications so I can apply to three open positions for the manager of a development team at a tech startup this week.