S.M.A.R.T. Goals - Part II


As we saw in the last section, having a measure for your goals lets you plan the work that is necessary to achieve the goal. But before you begin working, you need to be certain that the goal is truly attainable.

What if in our example above we had said that we wanted to see a 20% increase in inbound calls in just six weeks? How would our plan for reaching the goal have changed? Given our existing resources and the workload that we have to maintain while reaching for the goal, would that even have been possible? If a goal is not attainable given the constraints that you face, you either need to work towards removing those restraints or lowering the level of the goal so that it becomes attainable.


If a goal is to be realistic, it must be something that you are willing and able to work towards. This doesn’t mean that all your goals have to be low and simple. It just means that you have done a thorough analysis of the task at hand and you have come to the conclusion that the goal is realistic. Some questions you could ask yourself during this analysis include:

• Do I have the resources (financial, personnel, equipment, etc.) to reach the goal?
• Do I have the support of others in the department and the organization?
• What knowledge or expertise am I lacking that I will need to locate or learn?
• Have I reviewed my existing workload with my supervisor to prioritize this goal with existing goals?

In some version of SMART goals, the R actually stands for ‘relevant.’ In this case, you are comparing the goal to the overall mission of the organization and to your personal goals, objectives, and roles. Is the goal something that you should actually be completing or is it better suited for someone else? Will it improve your overall skills and ability to do your job? If not, why are you pursuing it?


The final component of the SMART goals strategy is ‘timely.’ Without adding a time restriction to your goals, you don’t have the necessary motivation to get going as soon as possible. Adding a realistic time boundary lends a sense of urgency to your goal and will help to keep you focused. Since organizations change regularly, so can goals. Making sure your goal is set with a time limit also ensures that you complete the goal while it is still relevant to what you are doing on the job.


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