What exactly defines your goals

SMART method: Set goals correctly and achieve them

The SMART method is already known to many, but it is still far too seldom actually implemented. This can be seen in the fact that some tasks and projects are doomed to failure before they have actually started. The reason sounds simple, but the consequences can be severe. Goals are set incorrectly and cannot be achieved right from the start. In short: if you don't know where you want to go, you can't get to your destination - no matter how hard you try. The SMART method helps Set goals correctlyto have an accurate picture of the desired result. In order for this to work, the formulation of objectives must meet a number of criteria. We explain, what exactly is behind the SMART method and how SMART goals differ from others ...

SMART method definition: When is a goal SMART formulated?

How you set your personal and professional goals has a major impact on whether and how you achieve them. Already the correct goal setting is therefore the first step to success, but unfortunately a lot of mistakes are made here.

Most people don't give enough thought to the goal itself; instead, they focus on different ways and possibilities to achieve it as quickly as possible. But if you plan the first steps or even take them before you know the goal, falls over your own feet sooner or later or finds that he's been walking in the completely wrong direction all along.

The SMART method aims to prevent just that by providing clear criteria for the Definition of a goal specifies. SMART goals are designed to help you stay focused and put your energy into the things that really matter.

The name of the SMART method stands for the abbreviation of five SMART criteria, to which every goal should be oriented in order to be able to clearly define it:

  • Specific

    Generalizations and ambiguities are the natural enemies of any goal. Vague formulations and unclear ideas are not enough about what it takes concrete and precise announcementsthat leave no doubt as to what exactly is to be achieved.

    In this case, concrete and detailed does not mean that you should lapse into lengthy descriptions. In the best case scenario, the goal becomes one single, concise sentence summarized, which gets to the point.

  • Measurable

    In order to be able to clearly determine in retrospect whether you have achieved your goal, it must be formulated from the beginning in such a way that it is measurable. In some cases, this is particularly easy when it comes to saving costs or increasing profits, for example. The sums are always measurable, just like others quantitative goals, such as time or the amount of a department's output.

    However, there are also goals that are not that easy to measure. Must be here Replacement sizes or alternative options be found in order to make a goal measurable. For example, if the goal is greater customer satisfaction, you can either look at the sales figures or conduct direct surveys that you use as indicators of satisfaction.

  • Attractive

    A goal can only be achieved if everyone involved stands behind it, gets involved and actually wants to put the goal into practice. This works through a positive formulationthat inspires you to get started and take action.

    The idea behind this SMART criterion: Hardly any goal can be easily achieved and success will not just fall at your feet. You have to work hard, bite your way, and deal with setbacks. You can only do that if the goal is attractive to you bring up the necessary motivation, to reach the goal.

  • Realistic

    Think big ... What may be a good attitude in principle is often inappropriate when setting goals, since excessive ambition leads to frustration and problems. Working towards something big in the long term can be very motivating, but you mustn't do it completely Act unrealistic and set utopian goals for yourselfthat you cannot reach anyway.

    If you formulate unrealistic goals, you will quickly lose the incentive and give up because it is simply impossible to meet the expectations. At best, the objective should be chosen to suit you challenging, but definitely feasible remains.

  • Terminated

    Every goal needs a time frame, a deadline by which something should be done. Everyone has experienced that you just couldn't get yourself up to speed until you ran out of time. The date of the target is also the control point. Here it is measured and recorded whether everything could be implemented that was planned days, weeks or months ago.

A goal formulated according to the SMART method is clear if it all five criteria Fulfills. But this is not always that easy, because if particularly great value is placed on one criterion, this can also lead to another suddenly no longer being given for the specific goal.

This is particularly common with the SMART criteria attractive and realistic the case. Most goals become more attractive if you raise expectations and requirements. However, there is the dangerthat the goals are completely unrealistic, which is why the two aspects must be weighed against each other.

SMART method example: This is how goal setting works

After the theory now the practice. We have three examples prepared that show the difference between incorrectly formulated and SMART goals:

  • Not correct: I want to write a book.
  • Correct: I will be writing a 350 page book within a year by writing one more page each day.
  • Not correct: I will lose weight.
  • Correct: I will be going to the gym three times a week to lose a pound every week until my vacation on June 12th.
  • Not correct: I will look for a new job.
  • Correct: In addition to my current job, I will write two applications every week in order to find a new position in marketing within 6 months.

Other readers will find these articles interesting

[Photo credit: Karrierebibel.de]

★★★★★ Rating: 4.97 / 5 - 7685 ratings.
October 29, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

Continue to the home page