What is a SMART Goal?

SMART Goals Template

A SMART Goal is a well-defined useful Objective.

 

Its name is an acronym for the 5 characteristics that these Goals should have:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Assignable.
  • Realistic.
  • Time-Related.

Five Requirements that SMART goals must meet

Specific: The Objectives should be clear.

  • There should be no question about what the goal is.

 

Measurable: Goals must be measurable with numbers.

  • The only way to evaluate things objectively is with numbers.

 

Assignable: There must be a responsible for each Goal.

  • When responsibility falls on a group of people, it is diluted.

 

Realistic: Well-defined Goals are those that can be achieved.

  • Impossible goals are only met in Hollywood movies.

 

Time-Related: There must be clear Deadlines.

  • Ambitious deadlines, if possible.

 

In our examples, we will use a color code to identify what SMART requirement is being covered.

  • Specific: Blue.
  • Measurable: Green.
  • Assignable: Red.
  • Time-Related: Orange.

We’ll assume all the Goals are Realistic.

 

Being said that, let’s see the first example:

SMART Goals example

 

In this example, we’ll imagine you own a small Business.

  • You have just started your business and you don’t know what goals to set for your first year.

You recently read in Consuunt about SMART Goals, so you decided to use this method.

 

After thinking about it a lot, you set the following objectives:

 

Color code:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Assignable.
  • Time-Related.

* Remember: we’ll assume all these Goals are Realistic.

 

SMART Goals

 

  • Your website must be 100% operative by the end of the first month.
    • Responsible: The Company you’ve hired to develop it.
    • Metric: You will evaluate the 5 characteristics that it must have.

 

  • By the end of the first quarter, your Business must make $1,000 a month.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Dollars earned per month.

 

  • Your Business should grow at least a 5% per month.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metrics: Percentage of Increase in sales.

 

  • By the end of the first year, your Business has to cover all expenses.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Income – Costs.

We have repeated it a thousand times:

  • Just because something is intuitive doesn’t mean it’s obvious.

 

We know that this criteria seems absolutely obvious… But it is not.

  • People and companies tend to set goals almost “arbitrarily”.

 

This method teaches us what an Effective and Useful target looks like.

  • That is why you should always keep in mind its 5 criteria.

 

Before looking at more examples, we need to clarify something that can cause confusion:

Difference between SMART goals and OKR

 

These 2 concepts are very similar.

What is the difference between them?

 

OKR is a management principle that encourages to adopt a Goal-Oriented Strategy.

  • Its name is an acronym for “Objectives and Key Results”.

 

The SMART Criteria suggests 5 characteristics Well-Defined  Goals should have.

  • OKR Goals could adopt these 5 characteristic… Or not.

 

* If you are interested in the OKR method, we encourage you to visit our Page:

Now, it’s time to see more Examples.

 

We’ll use the same Color code we used before.

SMART Goals examples

We have chosen examples of everyday situations that we all live in our day to day.

  • This way, you will better understand how to set SMART goals.

 

* We are aware that some of the “Goals” we’ll show you, seem to be “tasks” rather than Goals.

  • We do it this way because sometimes doing a task regularly can be considered a Goal in itself.

 

Let’s begin:

SMART Goals examples for Students

 

Let’s imagine that you are a desperate student who needs to get good grades.

 

You finally decide to use the SMART criteria to set your annual Goals:

 

Color code:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Assignable.
  • Time-Related.

* Remember: we’ll assume all these Goals are Realistic.

 

SMART Goals

 

  • You will study 2 hour of a different subject every day.
    • Responsible: You (some students don’t understand this).
    • Metric: Hours studied.

 

  • Every weekend, you will do 4 exercises in each of the 2 subjects that are most difficult for you.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Exercises done.

 

  • You will attend 2 tutoring meetings every month (where teachers helps students).
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Presence.

 

  • After each exam you will evaluate in which subject you need to work harder.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Grades obtained.

 

* These “task-Goals” are much more helpful than setting the typical Goal: “Get an A in all subjects”.

  • These tasks-Goals depend on somebody; You, and are much more helpful.

SMART Goals examples for Teachers

 

Now, you are the teacher.

  • You are desperate: you students seem to understand nothing.

 

You decide to use SMART Goals to improve their performance:

 

Color code:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Assignable.
  • Time-Related.

* Remember: we’ll assume all these Goals are Realistic.

 

SMART Goals

 

  • Each week somebody will gather information about what people do not understand.
    • Responsible: A student, who will alternate.
    • Metric: Doubts received.

 

  • At the end of every week, you’ll analyze how many old (repeated) doubts you have received.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Repeated doubts.

 

  • By the end of the Quarter you have to receive no old doubts.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Repeated doubts.

 

  • By the end of the year, your students’ grades should have increased by 10%.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Grades.

SMART Goals examples for Employees

 

Now, you are an employee.

  • You want to promote, so you’ve thought about using SMART criteria to increase your chances.

 

Although SMART goals are sometimes difficult to use as an employee, you set these for yourself:

 

Color code:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Assignable.
  • Time-Related.

* Remember: we’ll assume all these Goals are Realistic.

 

SMART Goals

 

  • You want to improve your efficiency by a 20% in 3 months.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Reports and tasks per week you perform.

 

  • At the end of the semester, you must have increased your relation with your Boss a 50%.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Hours that you spend together (in meetings that you arrange).

 

  • At the end of the term, you must have completed an Interpersonal Skills course.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Completed or not completed.

 

  • At the end of the year you want to have increased the phone calls you receive by a 50%.
    • Responsible: You.
    • Metric: Number of incoming calls.

 

* We consider the number of incoming calls as an indication that you are helpful for other people.

SMART Goals examples for Managers

 

Now, you have become a Manager of a ceramic industry.

  • It is time for you to set goals for others.

 

Since SMART criteria proved to be useful in the past, you decide to use it with your team:

 

Color code:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Assignable.
  • Time-Related.

* Remember: we’ll assume all these Goals are Realistic.

 

SMART Goals

 

  • Increase the number of ceramic pieces inspected by 20% by the end of the quarter.
    • Responsible: The quality control engineer.
    • Metric: Number of pieces inspected.

 

  • Reduce manufacturing costs by 5% before the end of the year.
    • Responsible: The process engineer.
    • Metric: Dollars per piece.

 

  • Introduce 2 new products in the first semester.
    • Responsible: The product engineer.
    • Metric: Done or not done.

 

  • Increase production by 10% before the end of the year.
    • Responsible: the manufacturing engineer.
    • Metric: Pieces per day produced.

Summarizing

A SMART Goal is a Goal defined by 5 characteristics:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Assignable.
  • Realistic.
  • Time-Related.

 

People and companies tend to set goals almost “arbitrarily”.

  • This criterion helps to establish the appropriate Goals that move projects forward.

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