SMART goals criteria

What are SMART Goals? Definition and Elements Explained

Does goal-setting work in practice?

Yes and No. It is impossible to give one-word answer to this question.

Many people fail despite trying great efforts to write their goals. One of the prime reasons for this failure is the lack of a systematic approach. Beginners make a mistake by setting unrealistic goals.

It is no wonder why some marketing professionals fulfill their targets every time. They are humans, just like others. The only point of difference is their methodical planning while making goals.

Welcome to the age of SMART goals.

If you have never heard of the ‘SMART’ goal-setting framework and its significance, we have got you covered.

Dive in to explore the ins and outs of SMART goal-setting in this blog post.

What is the SMART Goals Framework?

SMART goals are not mere thoughts or planning in mind. It is a set of parameters to write down realistic, specific, and concrete plans at the workplace.

As evident, the five letters- S, M, A, R, and T in the upper case represent the parameters used for goal-setting. It is an acronym used for five eminent elements to incorporate when you write down goals- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based/’time-bound.

What are SMART goals

Elements of SMART Goals Defined

A closer look into each of the SMART elements states the importance of these factors when writing goals.

Element 1: S- Specific

You must be clear and specific when writing a SMART plan. This helps to define the goal objectives such as-

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What are the vital measures, steps, or actions to accomplish the task?

 

Element 2: M- Measurable

There must be criteria to track your progress. Measuring your progress through data shows how much you have achieved and what remains to be done. It helps you determine if you are proceeding on the right path to achieve what you want.

Suppose you want to increase the leads on your landing page by 15% within the next 3 months.

Your website traffic analytics should give you the data such as:

  • Number of visitors on the page
  • How much time does each visitor spend on the landing page
  • How many people responded to CTAs
  • What is the bounce rate on the concerned webpage?

These reports can help you modify your plan periodically as and when needed.

set your big picture goals

Element 3: A- Attainable/Achievable

This is a crucial factor for goal-setting. It can be tempting to set higher targets. But oversights can be disastrous if you work with a team.

You may not get 20k visitors within 2 weeks from the date of launching a blog. Building organic traffic takes time.

The goals can be challenging, but these must be realistic and achievable to give you results in the future. While writing goals answering the following questions can help you in the process:

  • Have I set a reasonable deadline for the project?
  • Are there sufficient resources to get the work done?
  • What else is needed to accomplish the task?
  • Has anyone else achieved this?

 

Element 4: R- Realistic

The mentors at the B-School advised me to be realistic while setting goals. Realistic goals are set with practicality in mind. It is almost impossible to achieve anything if the goals are unrealistic.

For instance, you want to make money with content writing. To your surprise, someone asked you to complete 10,000 words per week.

  • Is it possible for you to do this much work?
  • Are there any pending projects in hand?
  • Can you commit to completing this work alone?
  • If working with other writers, are they available for more tasks?

A realistic approach is a vital SMART goals criteria that help to succeed in life or career.

measure your goals

Element 5: T- Time-Based/Time-Bound

The rule of thumb to work with a SMART goal is to accomplish the work within a specified period. This kind of goal planning incorporates a starting date with a project deadline.

A goal-planning without a deadline diminishes the motivation to achieve the target and lacks the urgency factor. Procrastination at the workplace can cause unnecessary delays. You may gain less in your professional as well as personal life.

 

Setting Goals Using the SMART Framework

Now you know the elements or factors of the SMART plan. Check out how to develop SMART goals?

Herein is an example to help you with the process.

Expand My Marketing Business

Include as much detail as possible.

My SMART Goal- I want to find at least 10 new clients who will spend at least $2000 per month for the next 12 months. As part of the process, I will contact at least 30 prospects every month and send out 20 proposals per month.

The abovementioned written goal represents all elements of a SMART plan.

Specific: The goal provides clear information on what I want to achieve.

  • 10 new clients
  • Earn $2000 per month from each client
  • Each client must work with me for at least 12 months

Measurable: This goal clearly defines how much work I need to do. Contact 30 prospects and send out 20 proposals.

Achievable: My Company is a mid-sized enterprise that already wins 5-6 clients a month. Hence, a bit more is an attainable goal.

Realistic: Contacting more prospects raises the chances of winning more leads.

Time-Bound: The goal clearly states the task to be done every month.

 

Free SMART goals template

Want to get started with SMART Goal-Setting?

Writing a SMART goal plan with pen and paper can be a tough chore for novices. Use a SMART goals template with a simple interface to make the entire process a breeze. You can also get our 2022 full focus planner, it helps you with setting smart goals and keeps you on track. You are able to acquire new habits and build yourself. Get yours here.

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