"Failing to Plan is ... Planning to Fail" Sad but True. For years I went around drifting without setting goals, yes I was that "rebel without a cause" indeed. But I learned the hard way so I don't want you to make the same mistakes and we have to do 1st things 1st. That is Planning to Succeed.
Now if you haven't heard about the term "smart goals" you should take a look and pay attention because this methodology is standard practice in all of management training, business schools, marketing plans, etc.
S.M.A.R.T. GOALS DEFINED
Specific: A specific goal should clearly state what you want to accomplish, why it is an important goal, and how you intend to accomplish the goal. Goal objectives should address the five W's ... who, what, when, where, and why. Make sure the goal specifies what needs to be done with a time frame for completion. Use action verbs like create, design, develop, implement, produce, etc. For example sell six new hotel accounts by 7/1/2014
Measurable: Goal objective should include numeric and descriptive measures that define quantities, qualities, costs, etc. How will you and your staff members know when the goal has been successfully met? Focus on elements such as observable actions, quantity, quality, cycle time, efficiency, and or flexibility to measure outcome not activities. For example: Interview 12 prospective Sales Reps, hire 3 by 4/30/2014, assign Sales quotas to each, to qualify, follow up and open 2 new accounts per rep by 7/1/2014
Achievable: Goal objectives should be within the staff's control and influence; a goal may be tough but still feasible. Is the goal achievable with the available resources? is the goal achievable within the time frame originally planned? Consider authority or control, influence, resources and work environment support to meet the goal. Ex. register for Public Speaking training at local Toastmasters so I can comfortably meet and network with high-end decision makers and deliver effective sales presentations.
Relevant: Goals should be instrumental to the mission of the department and ultimately, the company. Why is the goal important, how will the goal help the department achieve its objectives? Develop goals that relate to the staff member's key accountability or link department goals with the company's plan. Ex. Develop and implement a diversity recruitment plan that increases the number of diversity candidates to the Customer Service department.
Time-Bound: Goal objectives should identify a definite target date for completion and or frequencies for specific action steps that are important for achieving the goal. How often should the staff member work on this assignment? By when should this goal be accomplished? Incorporate specific dates, calendar milestones, or time frames that are relative to the achievement of another result. Ex. dependencies and sub-goals from other projects. For ex. check the fire alarm and emergency lighting systems in all buildings every six months.
Download the SMART Goals Worksheet below: