Smart Goals, meaning, and importance

Smart objectives

Management is all about setting goals and then trying hard to achieve them. But, do you know how we should set our goals so that we are more likely to achieve them. Today, the world has become more competitive than ever. So, in order to be ahead in life, you need to achieve more through a clear objective setting. In other words, it is not enough that you are smart and intelligent. One should have smart goals to do better than others. So, what are the smart goals? This article will try to explore and help you in making your planning smart and effective.

What is the meaning of smart goals?

Smart is a short form of Specific, measurable, attainable or achievable, realistic, and timely. This concept of management is often seen to be related to the management ideology of Peter. F. Drucker. However, the first-ever use, one can trace long back to 1981. When George. T. Doran used it. Smart acronym is a set of criteria that one must use to be more successful with their strategy. Surprisingly, its implementation is so easy for everyone that u know at each step what u are doing. Let’s discuss the entire concept in a detailed manner as to how we can use Smart goals in a corporate environment.

Smart goals

should be specific


The first feature of your smart objectives is the degree of specificity. Basically, we decide what, why, who will, how, when, and where we are aiming. Specificity answers 5w and 1H of your goals. It is more like the planning part of management. In other words, we have the following 5 questions to ask to ourselves

  1.    Why do we want to achieve something?
  2.    Who will be responsible for our goal achievement?
  3. At what time we are going to start?
  4.   Here we decide about the location of our goals if any?
  5.   What methods or procedures we are going to follow?

For example, let suppose a company sets a target of generating more sales. Here to be the specific company has to decide what methods or marketing strategies it should adopt, who will be in charge, how they are going to do that, at what location it will be done, etc. so it is vital to answer the aforementioned questions.

should be measurable

measurable element of smart objectives

Secondly, your goal-setting process must include elements of measurement. Because it gives you more of a direction. It means how much or how many you would like to achieve. If something is not measurable. It is infeasible to monitor or to check how we are doing. Establishing benchmarks and standard is of paramount importance in Smart goal setting. Measurement makes it possible to identify are achieving something and if yes how much we have achieved compared to the expected. It checks how effectively you are walking towards your destination.

  1. How much we are going to achieve
  2. how many we are going to achieve

For instance, if we continue with our marketing example, it is good to give a measurable objective rather than saying the company desires to raise its sales. Here the enterprise can specify how much sales it wants to achieve. If it gives a target of 20%, it is an example of measurement.

Feasible to attain


Thirdly, if your goals are attainable or within your reach. They are very motivating. We all know we are motivated to do something if we have some control over it. Attainable tells us that our objectives are should not be something which we can’t lay our hands upon. In other words, it should not be something that is impossible. In fact, here we should check do we have the necessary capacity to make it happen. Many times, we don’t have the means to reach our targets, in that case, we must find out our shortcomings.

  1. Do we have a list of goals as per our ability?
  2. Do we have the means to reach our targets?
  3. Check out the weakness or impediments in our way

In our marketing example, the company yearns to get a 20% sales increment. However, here it should find out what strengths does it have. If it does not have the required employees or manufacturing capacity. A 20% increase in sales is nothing but an unattainable goal until the company has the required resources.

Relevancy is the key

Relevance is key in smart objectives

The next component in our list is relevancy while planning Smart goals. Relevancy exerts strong control. Your goals should be part of your overall longer strategy. From, company perspective, it becomes more important. Your goals must align with long term planning, vision, and mission of the organization. From an individual point of view, your goals should be helping you in achieving something bigger. Each of your goals ought to have a clear aim to make you reach your main objective. If it is not, it is better to cut that goal off the list. Ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Does my goal have something to do with the overall company?
  2. In what way it is important for the entire organization?

Continuing with our marketing example, if the 20% sales target is not in line with the company’s main objectives like profits and survival. It is better to leave such goals. As the resources can be used for other suitable opportunities.

Time means deadline

Smart goals should be timely

Last but not the least, in my opinion, it is the most important element of the Smart goals setting process. As time instills urgency and gives the target or deadline. If, we have not set a clear deadline for the goals. We can be habitual to procrastination. So goals which are time-bound are much more attractive and encouraging. Remember, when you are setting any time constraints for your objectives. Be careful, unrealistic duration and deadlines can contribute towards making a goal unrealistic. This element must be in line with attainability. In simple words, attainment and deadline must go in hand with each other. Try to answer the following queries, here

  1. How much time enough is to achieve a target?
  2. Do we suffice in resource availability in cracking targets in time?
  3. How much time do we need to do it?

Again, in our sales increment target, if the company proposes a time limit of within 6 months, it is providing a deadline. As a result, it will create a sense of urgency in reaching the target.

Importance of smart goals

The concept of smart goals is very important. It is like a blueprint that gives you a definite route as to what question you need to ask yourself. The five parameters of specificity, measurement, attainability, relevance and time-bound give shape to your objectives. As a result, it increases the ability to achieve a goal. Finally, it is not enough to be smart but your goals should be smart as well.

Final words

So, that was all about the concept of smart acronym, hope you liked this information. In case, you have some recommendation, please don’t forget to mention in the comment box. you can check our business page for more articles

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