What’s Goal Setting?

There’s a lot of information out there about goals and how to set them. One of the most popular methods is to base them on the SMART acronym, which stands for smart, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. 

What are SMART goals?

SMART goals are well-defined, trackable objectives you set to outline what you want to achieve, how you will do it and by when. Each letter in the acronym ‘SMART’ stands for a different element of this goal-setting strategy.

S = Specific
This part of a SMART goal refers to being as clear and specific about what it is you want to accomplish. Define your goal in simple, direct terms that allow you to understand your objective. Example: ‘I want to get a job serving customers so I can learn more about customer service.’

M = Measurable
This refers to how you can tell when you’ve made progress and how much more progress you need to make. If you want to be a customer service representative, you could measure progress asking for feedback on your communication and listening skills. You can use SMART goals to identify the milestones you want or need to hit on your way to success.

A = Achievable
This part of a SMART goal refers to how tangible the goal is and how realistic it is for you to be able to meet your objective. Achievable goals can be determined with practical time frames for completing each step and the goal overall. Think about whether you can achieve the goal now or if you should take additional steps that better prepare you for that goal.
Using the customer service goal, perhaps there are training opportunities that can help you better develop your communication skills. 

R = Relevant
This refers to how closely the goal aligns with your core values, personality and larger, overall life and career goals. To determine a goal’s relevance, identify the elements of what makes you want to pursue a goal and the ways in which it helps you reach larger objectives. For example, if you pursue the goal of becoming a customer service representative, you may thrive in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment and enjoy the challenge of solving problems related to dealing with customers. 

T = Time-based
This refers to the amount of time you plan to take to achieve the goal, which can help you better determine how long each step will take on your way to accomplishment. For SMART goals, consider setting a specific date or a more general time frame. Example: you may use a general time frame of 1 year to gain the experience you need to gain different experiences with customers.
Setting goals keeps you moving and increases your happiness.  When you set goals, you create a vision of what your life could look like. Then you start pushing yourself to get the best results possible.

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