Specific goals are able to be accomplished easier than a general goal.
A good way to set a specific goals is to answer the six “W”s: Who, What, Where, Which, When, Why.
- Who: Who is involved in completion of the goal?
- What: What is it I want to accomplish?
- Where: Where am I accomplishing this goal?
- Which: Identify the requirements and potential constraints
- When: When is it going to be accomplished?
- Why: Why am I setting this goal?
A measurable goal is a specific concrete criterion towards attaining your goal. Measuring progress is a good way to track progress towards completion, and experience the sense of accomplishment as you hit each goal mark.
An easy way to make a goal measurable is to ask yourself questions like:
- how many;
- how much;
- how will I know when it is accomplished?
An achievable goal are realistic and also attainable. While an achievable goal may stretch your understandings in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, since these may be considered meaningless. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills and financial capacity to reach them. The theory states that an achievable goal may cause goal-setters to identify previously overlooked opportunities to bring themselves closer to the achievement of their goals.
An achievable goal will usually answer the question How?
- How can the goal be accomplished?
- How realistic is the goal based on other constraints?
Relevant goals stress the importance of choosing goals that matter and are impactful. A clothing store manager’s goal to “To cook 20 pieces of chicken by 2pm” may be specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound but lacks relevance. Many times you will need support to accomplish a goal: resources, a leading voice, someone to knock down obstacles. Goals that are relevant to your boss, your team, your organization, yourself, will receive that needed support.
A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.
A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
- Does this seem worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this match our other efforts/needs?
- Are you the right person?
A Time-Based goal stresses the importance of grounding goals within a time-frame, giving them a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps people focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the SMART goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization. A time-based goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency.
A time-based goal will usually answer the question
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?