What are SMART goals?


Quick Answer

SMART goals are a methodology of thinking that helps people reach success. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.

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Full Answer

Goal setting is a standard procedure in the business world. Many professionals and businesses focus on setting one-year goals and also set longer-term goals, such as five years, that may be reevaluated in the future. There are several different methodologies of thinking to help define goals, with one popular one being SMART goals.

SMART goals have a specific rubric:

  • Specific: Involves identifying a specific area for improvement. The more specific the area, the more refined the goal can be. It makes it easier to set parameters and work towards the goal.
  • Measurable: Quantifying goals provides specific ways to track progress against goals. This makes it easy to benchmark performance throughout the goal period, including areas to improve.
  • Achievable: Setting goals that can be completed in the designated period of time. Often, these goals may act like stepping stones to help meet broader goals that further define a career.
  • Realistic: It is important to create goals that are within a current skill set or area of expertise. Building expertise takes time, so expecting to become an expert in a short amount of time is unrealistic. Being realistic will make it easy to be successful at attaining goals.
  • Time-based: Establishing time parameters around each goal as it will help increase focus and accountability.

With SMART goals, professionals can target their activities to ensure that they are growing into their role and able to reach future career aspirations.

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