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The art of SMART goals
14 December 2022
The Art of Smart Goals.
Once we create a business plan, we need to achieve it. As a soloist, it is down to managing our time to juggle those things we chose not to outsource. If we have a team, we need to ensure that there is transparency and clarity on who is going to do what and how they will know when they are successful.
Welcome the Art of the Smart Goal.
SMART goals stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. This well-known goal setting technique is incrediblly valuable, but requires effort to do well.
Our top tips for documenting your SMART goals are:
Small steps: One of the biggest problems is that because the end goal is so big we down write down how we will get there. For example I’ve seen a personal goal for a slightly overweight client of 52 who has done very little exercise during the past 10 years because of his commitment to his business being “run a marathon”. What a great goal to have! Truly inspiring. But the first SMART goals that go towards achieving that include:
- See a doctor by the end of the week and get a full medical.
- Research a local running club and a local gym with a running group to establish a support community within 2 weeks.
- Go shopping and buy running shoes and clothing on the weekend.
- Walk around the block everyday.
It’s the same in business. You don’t write a new piece of software in on go, we have multiple sprints to develop and test one feature. Then we move to the next and the next until we have a product.
Share your goals: Accountability is a great way to ensure that you and your team stay on track. Sharing your goals across your team, making vision boards, creating a visual tracker which is relevant to your organisation so you can see at a glance your progress. For example for a solar power company we created a house with an white roof. On achieving the next target level we coloured in the next section of the roof. When we got behind we used it to help us turn things around and when we were in front it was a great way to celebrate.
Encourage don’t carry: Shared goals should be shared. As a leader it is easy to get stuck in the trap of fixing problems when they come up (and let’s face it, things happen). Your goal as manager is to equip your team and/or individuals to come up with great solutions when they do. Otherwise you will become the bottleneck where all the problems get parked! When a goal is not being achieved, don’t jump in with the solution. Ask the team how they want to handle it and create a solution together. Overtime, get them to create the solution first and share it with you later. This empowers the team and brings new ideas.
Rinse and repeat: Zak Fraser is quoted as saying “The key to success is consistency”. By creating the right habits, and focusing on the things that get you closer to your goals, you will be making progress. Just keep doing that and you’ll achieve your goals. The past two years have shown us that we need to adapt to Surthrive (Survive + Thrive) and for many that become the true goal.
If you need help to set your SMART goals or KPIs, we have a range of tools that can assist. Please reach out to Impact HR on 1300474672 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an obligation free chat.
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