SMART is not a copyright term and therefore many gurus or experts will not use it, preferring to invent their own brand of goal setting criteria. Don’t fall for that. Many text-books in management will include a reference to SMART goals since it has truly stood the test of time.
Get into the habit of setting smart goals.
It will help you become more focused, especially when it comes to taking action to achieve a goal. It also helps by making it very clear whether you have achieved a goal – the “smarter” it is the less disagreement or uncertainty about whether a goal has been achieved or not. SMART goals are a neat way to make sure that the goals you set cannot be fudged, changed or otherwise adjusted to suit you or anyone else, usually in response to not achieving a goal. Imagine that I tell you I will meet you for coffee at 7:30, at a specific date and specific restaurant, and that I will have to leave after 1 hour due to another commitment. I cannot wriggle out of my commitment to you or decide to not to arrive and make up some lame excuse. This is even more true if it is written down in the form of an e-mail or SMS confirmation.
SMART stands for:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Relevent
- T – Time bound.
I will illustrate smart goals through some smart goals examples using a restaurant as example. Lets focus on two aspects that need to be done well to be successful – 1) good food and 2) excellent service. You can also get some more smart goals examples by clicking here.
1. Good food.
I will do this one in detail and the other as a statement for you to consider.
- S = Food must taste good to the customer.
- M = A customer feedback from will be used and a rating of 80% positive feedback will indicate that we are doing well.
- A = 8 out of 10 customers are not that difficult. (Comment: in this case one would run the system for a while and tweak it)
- R = This is relevant to the overall goal of customer satisfaction in the business, and to the goal of being profitable.
- T = We will achieve this rating (80%, see M) on average every week. We will achieve this rating within 3 weeks of opening.
2. Excellent service
These smart goals examples are shorter as you should get the drift of what I am saying.
We will provide excellent service to customers by greeting them immediately on entering, seating them within 2 minutes, taking their order within 5 minutes of being seated, clearing the table of dirty plates within 3 minutes after a customer has finished their meal. Can you see how this ‘complies’ with each of the SMART requirements? Now go and practice this.
SMART goals are a tool to help you focus and take action. Adapt it to suit the situation you face.
I have also illustrated how to set smart goals in my post on smart goals examples. Click this link to read it. Do consider downloading the FREE goal achievement system. Best wishes.