Every goal should be a SMART goal

I’m sort of astonished at how loosey goosey most companies are about setting goals.  it could be organizational goals, marketing goals or even specific campaign goals.

How can you know if something is working — if you haven’t defined success?  Many people say they have goals but they are fuzzy goals at best.

A goal isn’t a goal if you can’t measure it.  If you aren’t currently using SMART goals — you need to start.  The acronym forces you to think through all the requirements to define a rock solid goal.

Here’s how you build SMART goals:

S – Specific (Fuzzy never makes for good goals)

M – Measurable (Real numbers, not impressions or guess work)

A – Attainable (Be realistic.  You are not going to triple your sales in 3 months)

R – Relevant (If it does not support where the organization is headed — why are you taking yourself off course )

T – Time bound (A deadline is critical)

So let’s look at a couple statements and see if we’d call them goals.

Increase awareness and get more people to try our product. (Not a SMART goal)

Produce a 15% increase in trials for product A  by December 2012.  (SMART goal)

See the difference?

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7 comments on “Every goal should be a SMART goal

  1. No pun intended but this acronym is smart. I am totally going to give this to the management at my firm to use themselves.

    1. Chip —

      It’s a simple way to keep us on track, so we can keep our companies on track.


  2. I am going to apply this also to my personal life. I’d like to see all my new years resolutions come true.

    1. Anders,

      I hope it works! It makes as much sense for our personal lives as it does for our business goals.


  3. Good advice on setting SMART goals.

    Check out my site for an effective yet systematic approach to setting and tracking goals. 😉

  4. Lets apply ALL of that because if we are missing just one then it will not work.

    Lawrence Bergfeld

    1. Lawrence —

      Isn’t that the truth!!


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