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I was taking a training and at the end they assigned homework. They asked me to develop and write out my goal that related to the program. It specifically asked me to develop a SMART goal.

If you are not familiar with this mnemonic it stands for:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T- Timely

I first learned about SMART goals when I was attending a Boy Scout Leadership training program called Wood Badge. The syllabus was developed by Ken Blanchard. By the end of training you are required to come up with five goals collectively known as a ticket. Each of those five goals are written using the SMART method.

During the next 18 months you are required to complete those five goals. The SMART method removes roadblocks and makes it much easier to complete your goal.


Make your goal specific, not general. It needs to be clear. Ask yourself these questions:
What do I want to accomplish?
Give specific reasons, purposes or benefits to accomplish the goal
Who is involved?
Where will this happen?
Identify any requirements or constraints.


If you can’t measure a goal, how do you know it was successful? Ask yourself these questions:
How much?
How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?


Is your goal realistic? Will you be able to attain it? Attainable is the difference between a wish and a goal. You may be stretched with your goal but it is not out of reach. Ask yourself the question:
How can the goal be accomplished?


Make sure that the goal is consistent with other goals and that it matters. If you have a team you are working with, this could be the driver that makes your team work efficiently and with a sense of purpose. Ask yourself these questions:
Does this goal seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time to do this?
Does this match our other efforts or needs?
Am I the right person to do this?


You need a target date to complete your goals. This was very important in our Wood Badge course. We had 18-months to complete our five goals. If we waited for an event that was held every 12 months but it was canceled or we got sick then we would not have not completed our goal on time and in the end not completed the course.

Within your company a target date will keep your project from being overwhelmed by all those other little projects and crises that come up all day, every day. Your time-bound goal will create a sense of urgency. Ask yourself these questions:
What can I do 6 months from now?
What can I do 6 weeks from now?
What Can I do today?

We are constantly bombarded with information, work and small crises that make our job difficult. We owe it to ourselves to do a better job with the parts that we can control, our goals. The next time you are making a list of goals in your business or in your personal life try making them SMART goals.