Our competitive world sets high standards for everybody who strives for success and perfection in life. In recent years it has become highly popular to set goals by thoroughly planning each step ahead. This way it will enable you to successfully accomplish everything you need and prioritize everything you've already got.
Loads of methods and techniques have flourished due to this reason. They have been devised to guide a person in setting and reaching a desirable aim.
One of the methods available and successfully in use nowadays is a SMART technique. SMART is an acronym which stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
These five characteristics are a must while planning something.
SPECIFIC. First of all, when setting a goal you should make it as specific as possible. Add the details that will include people, places, time, reason and the way of conducting something. Basically, your goal should answer the questions: who/what, where, when, why and how?
For example, you are planning to make your website more efficient. A specific goal would have it as “Hire a qualified web-designer to upgrade our webpage by the end of the year in order to improve Internet sales.”
MEASURABLE. Secondly, you need to be able to calculate or physically perceive how much you have progressed. Facts and figures are obligatory for this characteristic. Let's go back to our website example. If you were planning to make your website more efficient, then you should set the criteria that will enable you to see it. For instance, you could write down that the number of visitors to your website will increase by 15-20% due to the upgrade. This is measurable. Just by writing: “we need to increase the number of visitors” you will not have a summit to reach. Because by making your goal NOT measurable, you make it vague and unimportant.
ACHIEVABLE. Next step towards reaching your goal is making sure that it is possible to achieve it. There is no doubt that “impossible is nothing”, but we can all do with a bit of common sense. If after having explored all possible ways, you see that you do not now posses the tools, time and resources to reach the goal, it is high time you turned to something different, take a baby step in a different direction, and who knows, perhaps by taking a little time-out, you will just prepare yourself to take the plunge in the future.
RELEVANT. One of the most crucial characteristics in planning is defining the relevance of the goal. Very often we aim at something without realizing why we actually need it. It happens a lot when the goal is imposed on us by our surroundings: family, friends, or the media. If you do not see the value of doing something, if you set a goal just to please your parents or your boss, it is unlikely to motivate you. The goal should encourage you, should light your fire and make you struggle to reach it.
TIME-BOUND. The last but not the least characteristic is time. To be successful you should set specific deadlines and stick to those deadlines. A deadline is certainly here to motivate and encourage you. However, many of us feel frightened and stressed when pressed against time. This proves again that a goal must be relevant and interesting and it should definitely include some milestones, which will show you how much of your path you've already covered.
Now that you know how to make your goal-setting more pleasant and efficient. When planning something it is vital to stick to some specific steps, which when done correctly, will help you to reach your most desirable goals.
competitive – determined or trying very hard to be more successful than other people or businesses
to strive for sth – to make a great effort to achieve something
to prioritise (BrE)/to prioritize (AmE) – to put several things, problems etc. in order of importance, so that you can deal with the most important ones first
to flourish – to develop well and be successful
to devise – to plan or invent a new way of doing something
an acronym – a word made up from the first letters of the name of something such as an organization
to conduct – to carry out a particular activity or process, especially in order to get information or prove facts
efficient – if something or someone is efficient, they work well without wasting time, money or energy
to upgrade – to improve something and make it more modern, especially in order to provide a better service
measurable – able to be measured
to perceive – to notice, to see, or recognize something
a summit – the greatest amount or highest level of something
facts and figures – the basic details, numbers etc. concerning particular situation or subject
vague – unclear because someone does not give enough information or does not say exactly what they mean
common sense – the ability to behave in a sensible way and make practical decisions
to take a baby step – to move carefully and slowly towards something
to take the plunge – to decide to do something important or risky, especially after thinking about it for a long time
to take time out to do something – to rest or do something different from your usual job or activity
relevant – directly relating to the subject or problem being discussed or considered
to impose sth on sb – to force someone to have the same ideas, beliefs, etc. as you
to struggle – to try extremely hard to achieve something, even though it is very difficult
to set deadlines – to establish a date or time by which you have to do or complete something
a milestone – a very important event in the development of something