S – Specific, Significant, and Stretching (January 6, 2016)
M – Measurable, Motivational, and Meaningful (January 13, 2016)
A – Ambitious, Attainable, and Action-Oriented (January 13, 2016)
R – Results-Based, Relevant, and Responsible (January 20, 2016)
T – Time-Bound, Tangible, and Thoughtful (January 20, 2016)
E – Ethical, Exciting, and Excellent
R – Roles, Recorded, and Reviewed
These are the final six attributes for a SMARTER Goal.
- Ethical: The highest goals are those that are achieved with integrity and via win-win mechanisms. When possible, choose goals that improve yourself and others simutaneosuly. Remember these ancient guiding principle: do no harm, be just, and benefit others. If in doubt, use this litmus test: what would be your reaction to hear that your goals were suddenly published on the front page of every newspaper in the world? Would you be extremely proud or very embarrassed?
- Exciting: Nido Qubein says that “when a goal matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to accomplish what at first seemed impossible.” It is the excitement factor which explains how some so-called crazy dreams become everyday realities. Remember: great goals should be like kerosene thrown on an already burning fire, igniting your passions with a burst of life and energy. Often little children fight about taking naps or going to bed because every moment awake is an new adventure, filled with lesson and new experiences. Goals should help bring out the inner child. The process of working on the goal should not be viewed as drudgery, but as wonderful play. Great life goals are so exciting that you cannot wait to wake-up and continue on your unique journey.
- Excellence: Big goals should be about reaching for the next level and achieving excellence. Why would you want to aim low? Do not settle for anything average or mediocre. Focus your time, thought, and energy to bring about your very best efforts. I suggest asking these two questions when considering a goal:
1. Is this goal desired?
2. Does this goal promote excellence?
- Roles: Your Goals should span a variety of life domains (personal growth, professional, financial, family, etc.). The best way to insure that you are achieving a real life-balance is to check which roles each goal will include. Review your roles list while goal setting. It is common for some goals to span several facets of your life. However, if you discover that only one or two roles are reflected in all your goals, it likely means your plans are lopsided.
- Recorded: You must write down your goals. Just thinking about them will not do! Recording your goals will help crystallize your thinking. Simply writing it down is like magic as it will help you clarify the exact objective. If you do not record your goals, they remain ambiguous, and it is more than likely you will never hit those targets. Failing to take the time to plan your life is a major mistake. Yes, it is true: the majority of people never write out their goals. Do you want to be average? If you stopped someone randomly on the street and asked them what they plan to achieve over the next year, they would be stunned, perhaps even upset by the question, as they would have no way to answer. It is crucial that you strive to be in the small minority and write your goals down.
- Reviewed: Once your goals are recorded, do not hide them in a filing cabinet. It is important that you make the great effort to review them at least once a week. In fact, I suggest a brief 5-10 minute review every day. This will help you prioritize each day to make sure you focus on tasks that are directly related to your overall goals.
I hope this short guide on SMARTER Goals is helpful for 2016 and beyond.