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SMART Goal Setting

Janine Schindler
Janine Schindler

As we move into the “home stretch” or final quarter of the year I often hear much about time management challenges. Whether you are trying to meet a quota, stay on course, or just enjoy the holidays of the upcoming months, I’d like to remind you of one of the most useful tips I know:  SMART Goal Setting.

I encourage you to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down the goals you want to reach and/or complete. Look at each goal and evaluate it. Make any changes necessary to ensure it meets the criteria for a SMART goal:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Timely



Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do. Specific is the What, Why, and How of the SMART model.

  • WHAT are you going to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build etc.
  • WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
  • HOW are you going to do it? (By what means will you do it.)

Ensure the goal you set is very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to close more sales, set a specific goal to close 2 sales or to have 5 new appointments each week.



If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. In the broadest sense, the whole goal statement is a measure for the project; if the goal is accomplished, then it is a success. However, there are usually several short-term or small measurements that can be built into the goal.

Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. How will you see when you reach your goal? Be specific! "I want to have a “one-on-one” meeting with each of my team members every week" shows the specific target to be measure. "I want to be a good leader" is not as measurable.

Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goals.



When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. For instance, if you aim to call all of the contacts in your database in one week, we all know that isn't achievable. But setting a goal to call one a day and when you've achieved that, aiming to call another one, will keep it achievable for you.



Set a timeframe for the goal: for next week, by the end of the month, by the end of the year. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.

If you don't set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there's no urgency to start taking action now.

Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.

Everyone will benefit from goals and objectives if they are SMART. SMART, is the instrument to apply in setting your goals and objectives.

Time Mastery Profile
Time Mastery Profile

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Read more information about the Time Mastery Profile.

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